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Canaan John

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Name: Canaan John

Hometown: East Orange, NJ

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
John: Before fully realizing my ambitions, it was my mother’s idea for me to pursue acting. One summer morning a friend called our house and asked for me, I had been up for a while but when I answered the phone I acted as if I was just waking up and used that as an excuse to not hang out. My mother overheard this and, immediately after I hung up the phone, she came into my bedroom and jokingly said, “Quit school and go to Hollywood.” I didn’t quit school, but I did excel in the arts while attending Whitney E. Houston Academy of Performing Arts in my hometown. I’ve always dreamed of being an actor and never thought it was possible until I got cast in my first Off-Off Broadway show in New York City. After that I was hooked.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
John: I’ve always admired the careers of Will Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio. Watching Will Smith break barriers as a top film star has been inspiring especially since we share the same ethnicity. My favorite movie is “The Pursuit of Happyness.” When I watch this movie, I always get emotional. Not only was the acting superb, but the story was a story anyone could relate to that has ambition. As far as DiCaprio, I’ve always admired the range of characters he portrays. There are many other actors I admire like Julianne Moore, Jeffrey Wright, Idris Elba, Mahershala Ali and Meryl Streep, to name a few. I like to pull inspiration from many, many actors of today and yesterday, but these are actors I find myself drawn to most.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
John: My main plan is to work as much as possible when I’m offered work; with discretion of course. I have a commercial agent, but I self-submit everyday. I’m on all of the major casting notice services with most accounts having an annual subscription to keep monthly expenses down. I try to be strategic with the roles I submit for. I mostly submit myself to roles that would play up my strengths but are also kind of challenging. I’ve been cast in a variety of characters using my ‘formula’. I just stick to the mindset of, ‘just keep moving forward’.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
John: I started acting in New York City at around 22 years old. My first acting experience was in the 5th grade for a school play, and numerous church plays while growing up. I took a break from acting from age 25 to 32 while I focused on my personal life and life after college. Acting in Los Angeles actually happened by haphazard. I was on a Warner Bros. Studio Tour with my partner and the guide mentioned how actors get onto the studio lot by doing background work and instantly all the years of acting on stage and in film flooded back to my mind.

I had forgotten about my love for acting because I was so wrapped up in Life. At age 32, I signed up with Central Casting in Burbank and did a few months of background work and even got featured on two episodes of a show in a scene with an Emmy winner. After that experience, doing background work wasn’t satisfying anymore. I wanted to act. I stopped doing background work as often and focused on auditioning for speaking roles. Within one year I have filmed speaking roles in four short films, a commercial, a Web skit with a big following, and a few other confidential projects coming soon.

TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?
John: The move was a very easy transition for me since I’m lucky enough to have an amazing and supportive partner. It is a challenge finding work out here while maintaining a flexible schedule to audition, but I try to take it one day at a time and enjoy the journey of becoming a full-time actor. I was able to make great friends out here as well. I honestly feel that I took a big risk in moving from the East Coast to the West Coast, but with proper planning, things have happened in my favor. There are trying days that test my desire for this career, but I work to maintain a positive outlook by surrounding myself with happy & motivated friends. I still have to pinch myself daily that I live in Los Angeles. The opportunity to live here and pursue my dreams has exceeded all possibilities I thought for myself just five years ago.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
John: I would say my biggest break was landing a spot in a commercial for a casting company out here in Los Angeles. It has been such a confidence boost that’s providing me great momentum. Another big break is my first speaking role in a film called, “Chirp, Buzz & Other Sensations,” directed by Miley Durbin. So much went into the production and marketing of the film that I felt as if I was a part of a major studio production. Every part I land is a big break because I get to act.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
John: I have this fantasy of playing character on a great journey. Another favorite movie of mine is “Diarios de Motocicleta” (“The Motorcycle Diaries”). This movie is great because it follows the journey of a man who has a goal, but finds himself on the way through trials and tribulations. I feel everyone is on a journey and it’s epic adventures like “The Motorcycle Diaries” that remind me that no matter what, I have to stay focused on my goals and dreams. I’ve been most attracted to epic films, whether drama, sci-fi, dark comedy or action. I love films that are of another place and time that allows the audience to escape with high quality cinematography, art direction, costumes, direction and acting. I love all the work that goes into creating these worlds for us actors to act in. Truthfully though, I’d feel most at home in epic dramas.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
John: The greatest strength in knowing yourself. It’s easy to get lost in trying to figure out why I didn’t get cast in something or why agents and managers aren’t banging down my door. That coupled with the endless flow of rejection could make me go crazy, but I decided to enjoy the process. My first acting coach John Pallotta told me to enjoy the journey of acting and not the destination and that has totally changed how I view my pursuit of acting. I love what I do, so no matter what happens, I’m moving forward.

The desire to act coupled with my hobbies and a support system keep me going. I enjoy travel photography, creating apps, weekend getaways as well as working out. I try to immerse myself in culture by attending various events, museums, etc. Trying new things and experiences will strengthen a character and it’s helped me a lot with expanding my world. Being open to new experiences has shaped me as a man and as an actor.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
John: My ultimate dream is to be a full-time actor acting in independent, major studio films and prestige television shows. I’d love to be that actor who travels to far off places to create characters and has a filmography of great movies. My ultimate dream role would be to portray 1970s disco star Sylvester in a gritty independent feature length biopic, or Oprah Winfrey plays my mother.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
John: Plan. Having a plan is better than no plan. There are performers who come here with $200 and a dream and that’s great, but I could also imagine very stressful. Doing research on areas, possible ‘pay-the-bills’ jobs, it helps make the transition a little smoother. A car (even if cheap) will make it so much easier to hop from auditions, to sets, to work, to home. And if you can, have some money stashed away. Lastly, dream big and build momentum; no one has overnight success.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
John: The easiest way for people and casting directors to reach me is via http://www.imdb.me/CanaanJohn and/or www.canaanjohn.com!

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Next Up

Cole J. Williams

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Name: Cole J. Williams

Hometown: Sabine Pass, Texas

Current Location: Glendale, CA (Los Angeles)

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Williams: By the time I was a sophomore in high school I knew that acting would always be a fundamental aspect of my life; it was like this new diamond that I discovered along a seashore. Like anything worthwhile, age and time will only make such a thing more valuable, meaningful, and intoxicating over the years. By the time I graduated high school, I knew that it would haunt me ‘til the day that I died if I did not pursue a career as an actor going forward with my life, perhaps, in the afterlife too as far as I could tell at the time.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Williams: Oh, certainly! Firstly, there are so many great and inspiring performances — and actors who’ve paved the way — to pick from; it’s difficult to pinpoint anything or anyone above another. I’m just going to stick to the first one that stuck out to me before I knew how to articulate how I felt about acting — although, there was always this deep intuition and sense of oddity that lured me into wanting to be more than myself; or, as Bob Dylan would say, “All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” I still remember watching “Gangs of New York,” as a kid. Honestly, I thought that Daniel Day-Lewis was “Bill the Butcher” for years; of course, until I got older and realized that he was nothing like that in his interviews, which made me all the more impressed and amazed by what acting can be instead of what I thought it was at that point in my life.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Williams: You know, I did have a game plan, and I still do, but it’s constantly evolving and becoming unrecognizable to any formulation I could’ve dreamed up some time ago in the past. I still have miles to go before I can begin to feel comfortable with my career, but I’m enjoying the ride, thus far, and the edge I think only brings out the best that I have to offer as an actor. Ironically enough, it reminds me of reading a script, building and finding character in those pages, fleshing it out, and finally bringing that character to life whether it be on a stage or the screen. Ultimately, I think you just have to accept the unpredictable and learn to live with the uncertainty that comes with the nature of the industry. Perhaps, a delicate balance of talent, madness, luck, hard work, and rationality is the right recipe for some success at the end of the day.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Williams: Well, I was going to move away when I was 18 years old to live in New York City, I saved up enough money for five months of rent, and I was going to be studying acting at a reputable school there in New York while I looked for work. However, other things happened — as they tend to do in life — and I didn’t leave at that moment in time. As a point of fact, I moved away from my usual stomping grounds in May of 2017, so recently. I visited Los Angeles last November and talked to a few actors, at a movie premiere, about my passion for acting and how much I wanted to do what they were doing, as I figured, the claws of the mere possibility of being a part of this whole thing hooked into my mind, and my mind was made-up over that trip, “I was going to come out here and give this thing everything I had to give.”

TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?
Williams: The first few days felt slightly worse than a nightmare, but due to the remarkable character of a few friends and family members who helped me out in that period, I adjusted to the pressure rather quickly, and I started doing what I set out to do without hesitation. Still, a lot to be done, no question, but I’m feeling more and more comfortable and concentrated with time, not the opposite.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Williams: Hopefully, in due time, I can use the term “big break” in a different context, but for the time being it has simply been the small things that have made all of the difference for me. Thousands of actors move to Los Angeles and find no work, whatsoever, for prolonged and enduring periods of time. Thankfully, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to work on several sets, land a few auditions, and gain experience in the process. Finding the right representation will be my biggest break going forward and I’m trying to make all the necessary adjustments in the meantime to accomplish that goal.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Williams: Interesting question! In the meantime, I’m comfortable working as a background actor only because I enjoy the work so much, but it’s not my idea of myself as an actor. I see myself as more of theatrical talent who wants to take on roles that I should and do fear; I enjoy that process. I think of Sean Penn in “Mystic River,” Christian Bale in “The Fighter,” Daniel Day-Lewis in “My Left Foot;” it’s those types of roles – and many others — that intrigue me the most as an actor, so it’s in that universe (however hyperbolic that sounds) that I want to live within eventually.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Williams: A good philosophy when it comes to life, don’t forget to love it and cherish every moment of it. Embrace the good with the ugly, and never let the bad define you as an individual because you will need, at times, to believe in yourself when no one else will. We laugh, or we cry, right? Also, a good work ethic never hurts; it’s a necessity for everything in life done well. I’ve worked on rigs, on crew boats, in restaurants, and I’ve taken on other occupations… all of which have benefited me as an actor and as an individual, to be completely honest. However, there is no one-shoe-fits-all when it comes to finding meaning and comfort in life, so stick to what works for you if it’s working.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Williams: Man, it’s hard not to sound pretentious when answering this question. (Laughter) Honestly, if I can make solid money doing what I love most in life, it would be a dream come true. With that said, I do thoroughly believe in this quote by my favorite living actor, “Everybody has to know for themselves what they’re capable of.” Honestly, I know I’m capable of quite a lot as an actor, and I would love nothing more than the mere opportunity to show that to the world, to my peers, and to myself. If a window of that magnitude presented itself, I wouldn’t let it shut, and I wouldn’t fail once I got through! I think it’s impactive to have such a mentality to achieve that which others deem impossible, especially when you think it’s true!

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Williams: If it’s in your core to do it, do so, and be prepared to take a hard road along the way. In other words, do it because you love the thing itself, not the idea of what it could be; it’s the climb and the work that makes all of the difference at the end of the day. Love what you do and do what you love, but also be willing to work for what you want in life.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Williams: Email: colejwilliamsact1@gmail.com Website: talentfound.biz (It’s a site that I and my manager created, it’s still the early developmental stages of what it will eventually be). My stage name is “Cole J. Williams.” You can look me up on IMDb, but all of my work is not posted there (student films, theatre, some background jobs), but my contact information is available there for those parties chiefly interested and concerned. I’m working on my demo reel in the meantime and I just updated my headshots, which are soon to come. I’m looking to sign with an agent that I’ve been speaking to over the last month or so, but I’m also looking for as much exposure that I can get, so interviews like this are fantastic and I thoroughly appreciate you guys reaching out to me so that I can express myself and answer your questions!

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Next Up

Cody Lyerly

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Name: Cody Lyerly

Hometown: Orange County, CA

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Lyerly: It was during high school that I really knew I wanted to be an actor. Between my Junior and Senior years of high school I attended The National High School Institute – Theatre Arts Division (“The Cherubs Program”) and that really solidified it. It was great to just be around theater artists 24/7 for five weeks and that’s when I knew I would never be able to give up acting.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Lyerly: I have always been drawn to Leonard DiCaprio. I remember seeing him in “Romeo + Juliet” and “Titanic” and thought, “THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO!” So when he FINALLY won his Oscar I was really excited for him.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Lyerly: I decided that I would focus on my technique first and really hone my craft before trying to figure how to “break in.” After I felt I had a good foundation, I just started networking and auditioning. But it always comes back to being grounded and being true to the character.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Lyerly: I left for Loyola University Chicago to study acting at 18. Stayed in Chicago throughout my college career and then moved back to California when I was 22.

TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?
Lyerly: The hardest part about moving to Chicago was getting used to how cold it was during the winter… they have all this cold, white stuff on the ground! But, in all honesty, the transition to Chicago was really easy for me because the theater department at school was very welcoming and encouraged the freshman to get involved early on. So there was a supportive group of people there ready to cheer us on and help us along the way. And moving back to California was a breeze.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Lyerly: It’s a tie between two things. The first one being “The Mindy Project.” That was my first professional acting job. I couldn’t have asked for a better start either because everyone in the cast and crew were so welcoming, nice, and supportive. So big shout out to everyone involved with that show! The other was having a pilot (“Becca on Call”) I worked on, premier at the Dances with Films Festival this year at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Seeing myself on screen there was surreal.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Lyerly: I think one of the greatest gifts of being an actor is the ability to explore and live in all different types of characters. However, I have always loved Sci-Fi. I’ve been a huge “Star Wars” nerd since I can remember.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Lyerly: Confidence. Confidence in yourself and your abilities, but don’t let that morph into arrogance.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Lyerly: My dream is to explore humanity and all our flaws, and if I make one or two people laugh along the way then all the better.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Lyerly: I would say to have confidence in yourself and go for it. Go out, meet people, and create awesome art.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Lyerly: Since I’m a #millennial

Twitter: @CodyLyerly
Instagram: @CodyLyerly
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/codylyerly

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Next Up

Nate Scholz

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Name: Nate Scholz

Hometown: Vancouver, WA

Current Location: Marina Del Rey, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Scholz: That’s a good question. As a kid I had an incredible imagination. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker and save the galaxy. I spent the better part of my childhood acting out such fantasies with friends. I grew up in what some would consider the “country” so I was always outside, building forts, playing sports (that rhymed) camping under the stars, and getting into trouble. The idea of acting as an art form didn’t exist to me. It was just something I did to escape reality. In high school I was a jock and partied a lot… and probably would have kicked my own ass if I said I wanted to do theater. In college I won a national marketing/sales competition and had my pick of 50 job offers. I chose the job that paid me the most and relocated me to LA… the worst reasons to make such a decision. Consequently, I was very unfulfilled and unhappy. After a year of battling depression caused by a poor life decision, I decided to look for a new job. Without going into great detail (too late), I interviewed with a famous writer named Leslie Dixon to become her assistant. It was during that interview that she told me I should pursue a career in acting. Apparently she had never told anyone that before, but she saw something “special” in me that she couldn’t ignore. She laid out what I needed to do then wished me luck. That was the catalyst for everything. Within a week I was in acting classes three days a week, had an agent within a month, booked my first short film within two months, and did my first standup show within five months. It was exactly what I had been searching for my whole life. I walked away from all that I had achieved in business and I’ve never looked back. I’m still grateful for Leslie. Without her, I might never have admitted to myself that acting was what I wanted to do all along.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Scholz: It’s a three-way tie: Mark Hamill, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. They all played the “hero” and did so with their own unique style and bravado. It was not their “acting” that inspired me, it was the characters they played and the fantastic worlds their characters got to play in…and inevitably save. Fun fact: I wanted to be Van Damme so bad that I took martial arts for 5 years and mastered the ability to do the splits using two chairs like he did in “Bloodsport.”

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Scholz: Leslie Dixon helped set me on the path and told me what I needed to do to get started, but after that I was on my own. I truly had no idea what I was doing and had to start from scratch. I approached acting like you would a sales and marketing job, after all, that was my background. I believed that if I worked harder than everyone else, networked, and sold myself like a product then I would be a movie star in no time. I. WAS. MISTAKEN.

Don’t get me wrong, my tenacity, confidence, charisma, and drive did get me an above average amount of work in those early days, especially given the fact I had no prior experience in the field. The only problem was, I wasn’t that good of an actor… and I knew it. I had to find MY truth, MY art, and MY voice before I could ever find the truth of a character who is completely different from me. That process of self-exploration and discovery was painful, humbling, and empowering. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it took more than five years to uncover and is still an ongoing process. That process consisted of many exercises: Questioning EVERYTHING I thought, said, and did to uncover the hidden motivation behind it; learning to embrace tragedy and pain because the more shitty things that happen to you in life the more you have to pull form as an actor… I’ve been blessed in that area (laughter)… documenting my reactions to things that happen to me in my day-to-day life, practicing love, empathy, and compassion for people who are different from me; and exploring the human condition. The other part of my plan of attack was to determine “my type,” AKA “my product,” and then perfect it. I would ask acting coaches, casting directors, agents, peers, etc. what roles they could see me playing and then compare that to the roles I was booking most frequently. Once I had a sense for how others saw me, I was able to work on those characters in a more targeted fashion. Trust me, being type-cast is a great thing… it means you’re actually working.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Scholz: I did not move to LA to be an actor. I moved for a marketing job. I came here two weeks after graduating college in June of 2007. I started my acting career in mid 2008 at the age of 24.

TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?
Scholz: My transition was okay. I brought my Golden Retriever with me so I never really felt alone in those early days. This can be a cold self-absorbed city and industry. It takes a while to find the core group of friends that are worth their weight in skin. I was fortunate to find a few good ones early on but sadly they moved away within a few years. This is something you must be prepared for. The turnover in this town is very high… not many people are cut out for it. In my experience, most people last about one to two years. Very few people make it five years and even fewer will make it 10 years plus. If they do, they are usually in it for the long haul and are doing things right…or they are incredibly stubborn and delusional. (Laughter) I met my core group of friends six years ago, 80 percent of them are from my home state (just works out that way), and most of them have been here 10 years or more. I can’t imagine being here without them. LA will only feel like home if you make it home. It took me about two years to adapt fully and five years to make it my home. It is a tough and crazy city, but it is also flippin’ awesome! If you focus on the positive aspects of the city (not all the negative), find a core group of friends who love you, and hollow out your nook in a part of the city that you vibe with, then you will thrive.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Scholz: I’d say it’s a short film I did last June called “Alibi.” I play ISSAC, a hardened bull rider who struggles to hold his marriage together while fighting to keep his bother out of jail for a crime he didn’t commit, only to learn that his brother’s alibi is far worse than he could ever imagine. It was the most challenging, complex, and fulfilling role I’ve played so far. It was executive produced by Mark Burnett and directed by his talented son Cameron Burnett. Though it may seem weird to choose a short film out of all the feature films, pilots, and TV shows I’ve done. its not. This was one of those rare projects that all actors pray for. Every person involved was incredibly talented, gave their all, did their homework, checked their egos, and came together to make something amazing. We left nothing on the table and you can’t ask for more. The project is already doing big things. It won ‘Best Short” at its first festival (Hollywood Reel Film Festival) and was recently accepted into Cannes!!! Needless to say we are all very excited for what is to come. Stay tuned…

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role youd like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Scholz: This may sound bad, but I really want to play a serial killer or a twisted psychopath of sorts. I know what it would take to go there and how challenging it would be, which is partially what draws me to it. I have played many different types of characters and am at a stage now where I’m drawn to things that challenge me and allow for a flexing of my creative muscle. In sharp contrast, it’s also a dream to be on SNL and showcase some of the over-the-top characters I’ve created over the years. As far as the genre I feel most at home in, I’d say its science fiction or action/drama. Weirdly enough, comedy has always come easy to me. (I’m funny as balls in real life.) However, I never get called in for it and have only done a handful of comedic roles in my career due to my “type” and how casting sees me. The majority of the work I do is dramatic, which is funny because that was the hardest thing for me to learn and my main weakness as an actor when I was starting out. It took many years for me to become respectable at it…and who knows, I may still be terrible but no one wants to break the news. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Scholz: Actors need to have many strengths outside of their main skill set: Drive, self-motivating, marketing and social media skills, business sense, networking ability, charisma, professionalism, etc. Yes, I’m aware I’m doing a terrible job of not giving concise or specific answer for this question, but there is not just one answer, especially in this industry. Everyone in this town (casting, agents, directors, networks, etc.) has their own opinion on how things should be done, what’s good and what’s not, and what it takes to succeed. Trust me, you WILL go crazy if you try to listen to them all. There are no right or wrong answers or paths to get to the top. It’s YOUR individual story and journey. That being said, there are certain things you need to know to make that journey as smooth as possible and to keep yourself from being taken advantage of. Basically, these are just my opinions based on my experience, which was unique to me so take from them what you can. I’d say the greatest strengths an actor can have outside of acting itself are: CONFIDENCE (you believe it, they will believe it), GIVING (help as many people as you can as often as you can), KINDNESS (treat everyone on set with dignity and respect), EMPATHY (the best actors I know are also the most empathetic), and PURPOSE (you better have a reason for doing this other than fame and fortune).

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Scholz: I dream big so don’t laugh. First, I want to play a Jedi badass in one of the future installments of “Star Wars.” (Laughter) Yes, that is for real. Those movies were everything to me as a kid. They were not just an escape from struggles in my adolescence, but they stimulated my imagination, taught me to think big, and made me want to be a hero. My dream is to play a role that inspires kids in the same way. Second, I want to star as Nate Drake in the adaptation of the video game franchise “Uncharted,” which has the potential to be a modern day Indiana Jones. Not only am I huge fan of the franchise, I also look very similar to Nate Drake while sharing the same name and sunny disposition. Third, since consistency in this industry is the elusive holy grail we all seek… I want to be a series regular on a show that makes syndication, preferably in the science fiction genre (think “Battlestar Galactica”). Lastly, I want to be nominated for (and hopefully win) an Oscar, SAG award, and Emmy. And yes, these goals are are written in my daily mantra. Go big or go home!

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Scholz: Start young and do not come here unless you have conquered the market in which you live. Meaning, hone your craft where you live until it’s good enough to consistently book projects in that area. Don’t come here without a resume. You need to be successful in a small market with little competition if you ever want to be successful here. Don’t just come out here because you want to be an actor. Be an actor first and if you are successful/talented enough where you live then try your luck out here. LA is too expensive and competitive to waste time dicking around. Plus, you usually only get one shot with casting so if you come in and you are garbage, you may never be called back again. Don’t burn that bridge because you are impatient. Also, MAKE YOU OWN CONTENT. The industry has changed. Opportunities are VERY few and far between. It is important that you can be a jack (or jill) of all trades: producing, directing, writing, etc. Not only will that make you a WAY better actor, it will allow you to bypass auditioning and write yourself lead roles that are perfect for you. I would also advise not falling into the Hollywood party scene. Whatever the other actors are doing, do the opposite. Keep your nose down, work harder and smarter than your peers, and network. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be professionally. Never be the smartest or most talented person in the room. It’s NOT a race, it’s a marathon. Most overnight success stories took 10 to 20 years. Have a flexible, well-paying day job. I could keep going… but I won’t.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Scholz: You can learn more about me on my IMDb page (www.imdb.me/nas). There you will find my bio, picture, reels, clips of my work, and about half of my acting credits. Instagram is also a good place to learn more about me (SpooneyMcGavin). I always keep it updated with behind the scenes pictures, red carpet shenanigans, and personal exploits. Or you can just Google Nate Scholz and a bunch of stuff will pop up.

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Next Up

Tim Drier

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Name: Tim Drier

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Current Location: Los Angeles, California

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Drier: I fought this question for a long time. I still do. I’ll say this, a friend of mine once told me, “Sometimes the hardest thing to do on this journey is accept that you ARE an artist.” I believe this to be true, especially today. Now, every day, I take steps to accept what I believe I was created to do. Work in progress!

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Drier: Jim Carrey and Robin Williams. Both are always so exciting to watch! I was always so entertained. I try to carry that same energy into my own performances whenever possible.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Drier: One step at a time! I just started doing something. Classes first, advice from other actors, online research. Being proactive. This industry is too unpredictable for a plan.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Drier: I was doing a play back in St. Louis, venting to the woman playing my mother in the show, Anita Lipman, about my dreams of acting, adventure and a possible move to a bigger city. I had been throwing the idea around for quite a while. She said one thing after my rant. “What are you waiting for?” I had no answer. I left for LA two weeks after the run of that show. I was 24.

TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?
Drier: It was like a dream. I loved the adventure aspect. The drive from home, exploring a new city, meeting new people. Quite different from Missouri, but I loved it! Then money started running low and it all got very real, but, I stuck it out, by the grace of God, and three years in I had a steady income, good people around me and found a good church. All I need.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Drier: Becoming a union actor sticks out. I had booked a nice costar role on an independent SAG pilot project, “Medicinally Approved,” and that put me in a SAG “Must Join” situation. Time to play in the big leagues!

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Drier: I’d Love to work on a Christian Faith-based project. I’m really a fan of all genres and characters though!

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Drier: Self-motivation. You gotta figure out your journey alone most of the time. Do something every day.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Drier: I want to inspire the world! I’d like to be in a position of major influence. Where I can share my experiences and beliefs and tell stories that support these values.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Drier: Save money. You gotta pay to play this game. Work hard developing your craft and business, and take time to live life! Travel, meet people, explore, fall in love 1000 times and even let your heart break.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Drier:
IMDB: www.imdb.me/timdrier
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCntJqHQJJHtRrnG32mT8zlA
FACKBOOK: www.facebook.com/timmybuilt
ACTORS ACCESS: http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/timdrier
LA CASTING: http://www.lacasting.com/timdrier

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Next Up

Francesco Martino

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Name: Francesco Martino

Hometown: Rome

Current Location: Los Angeles

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Martino: Quite soon, when I was about 13. I was such an introverted and rebellious kid, so upset with everything and everybody. I just wanted to escape reality. Then I started doing theater. When I was on a stage, everything magically disappeared. I was able to be someone else. I never found anything else I was so passionate about.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Martino: Man, the answer is such a classic one. James Dean. The scene when he tries to hug his father, screaming and crying at the same time, in “East of Eden,” is just breathtaking. I also liked River Phoenix a lot. I’ve just re-watched “My Own Private Idaho. He was so talented, so interesting in everything he did.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Martino: The plan is not to attack it and not trying to crack it. I’m just gonna work at improving myself as an actor every single day, and aim to deliver the best possible performance every chance I get. I’m confident this will attract the right people and the right projects.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Martino: 18. My mother is still crying. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?
Martino: It wasn’t easy at all. Let’s face it, when you’re in your teens and your 20s, your social skills are not at their best. It takes a long time to feel you belong somewhere. And now that I’m spending more and more time in LA, it’s like starting everything from scratch again. But I’m stronger now. I guess at a certain point you kind of understand that home is where you are. You leave the door open, and know that the support group will arrive at a certain point. It’s so important to have reliable friends in this industry, and people you can really trust. You’re never gonna make it alone.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Martino: There’s this great Italian theater actor, Roberto Herlitzka, which I always loved. I saw almost all of his shows, I always thought he was just the best. A few years ago, I was called to share the lead character of a movie with him. Basically, I was playing the same role at a younger age. It was such a gift, I almost couldn’t believe it.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Martino: I always liked restless characters, huge emotions, big dramatic scenes. I guess that’s always been the kind of character I’ve been cast and recognized for. But lately something is changing… I feel more and more at ease in comedy. The truth is comedy comes from an even darker place than drama. It’s fun for the audience, not for you as an actor! But hearing someone laughing about your issues, is such a great relief! I love it.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Martino: This is maybe one of the most important lessons I’ve learned lately. Great actors are people who own their issues. They know what they are, they don’t judge them, and they use them as burning energy for their performance. Actually, they overcome them in every performance. Most of the people tend to become victims of their own stories and issues, they let them drive their lives. Great actors know that those are just the things that let them create amazing art.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Martino: That’s a tricky one. I want to do the kind of projects that inspire people. Movies were such a great help for me when I was a kid. They empowered me and helped me understand what I wanted, and I was able to do something good with my life. I want to give that back to someone else. Obviously I want to be in great projects, I like validation and money is definitely not a secondary issue. But the moment I receive a letter from someone saying I inspired them to overcome something in their life… that’s the best prize for me. It just empowers me so much.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Martino: Be honest. Ask yourself what’s the thing that really motivates you, what’s the thing you need to communicate to the world. Be specific. Stay connected to your real urgency. Know what you want, what you really dream of. It’s not about what you should dream of, it’s about what you (and just you) really dream of. If this urgency is honest, just go for it. Just be prepared to overcome a lot of obstacles. And be aware that there’s never a real satisfaction. Being an actor is an endless journey… and that’s what’s most beautiful about being one.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Martino: I’m usually not a big fan of reels, but this friend of mine edited one I really like. I think you can somehow get a sense of who I am through these brief scenes. It’s here, you’re welcome to take a look.

Instagram: @franzmartino

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