You won the ACTRA Award this year for your performance in A Warden’s Ransom, CONGRATULATIONS! Tell us about that movie and your role. How was that experience for you?
Thank you. It’s an honour to have received this award. A Warden’s Ransom is a film starring Diane Neal who plays a prison warden. A high risk inmate has just entered the prison & has offered 50 million dollars to anyone who can break him out. I play Quaid McCullough, a person who was unjustly committed. The warden realizes that I’m one of the few people that can help her when everyone tries to break him out. The cast & crew were amazing. I loved working on that film.
When did you become an ACTRA member, and what was your first union gig?
I became an ACTRA member 15 years ago. My first gig was on The Adventures of Shirley Holmes. I played a photographer by the name of Axel. I attended an open casting call & got the role.
How has being a part of ACTRA benefited you?
Being part of the ACTRA ensures that we’re paid minimum rates for the work we do. It also ensures that we receive residual payments. Money is also put away for our retirement each time we perform under a union contract.
What has been your favorite film/role thus far?
I’ve enjoyed all the roles I’ve played so it’s difficult to choose. One role that is significant is that of Billy Beal where I played the lead role in an independent film called “Billy.” I co-wrote, co-produced, & co-directed the film. I’d lost my memory in a car accident & began writing the script as a way of getting my memory back. When we were going to shoot the film I wanted to recast the role because I was only able to retain information for 5 minutes. We couldn’t afford to recast. I would look at a scene then we’d have to shoot right away. It was a difficult process but the film was completed & was a success. Fortunately, my memory eventually returned a couple of years later.
How do you stay sharp? Do you have any training suggestions?
I stay sharp by taking as many classes as I can. I try to do theatre & improv when I can.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In 5 years I hope to be writing, producing, & directing more of my own films. I want to do more improv & stand up.
As an actor who is an ethnic minority in Canada, how do you feel that affects, or has affected your career?
As an actor who is an ethnic minority in Canada, I would have to say that my race isn’t so much of a factor since I get called in for roles that aren’t written for someone of colour.
Do you have any advice for other actors?
My advice to any actor is to continue to train. Learn as much as you can about the craft & the business side also. Be ready.