Interviewed by Jessica Sherman, CSA
1. Has there been a Casting Director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?
Present company excluded? I’d have to start with April Webster. She helped cast me in my first co-star, alongside Erica Bream, and has also been hugely supportive of my personal projects. Robert Ulrich too. Any actor will tell you, that kind of encouragement from casting directors of their stature is hugely meaningful. But at the risk of being too effusive, the gold medal goes to you. Your friendship and counsel have made you a pillar in my career, and the fact that you were generous enough to cast my directorial debut, The Zim … well, I’m lucky for all of it.
I consider every appointment I land to be the loudest encouragement a casting director can offer. Case in point, Susan Blustein and Jason Kennedy brought me in for almost ten years before booking me—and it ended up being the job I would have chosen out of all of them. Just took a little patience!
2. What work are you most proud of?
Thus far, The Zim tops the list. It took four years to come together. Balancing writing, directing, producing and acting was a pretty significant test. The film exists as a testament to the time and efforts of a lot of talented people.
We premiered at LA Shorts Fest and won Best of Fest, went on to win a slew of festival awards, and qualified for an Academy Award nomination.
… And I believe it landed a certain someone an Artios nomination from the Casting Society of America for best casting in a short film! (Jessica Sherman)
3. What or who inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
From the first day of my elective theater class in college, I was hooked. The craft of acting clicked with me in a way nothing else in my life ever had. It was the joy and purpose of the work that inspired me—and still inspires me—to pursue this career.
4. What was your first IMDbPro credit and how did you feel when you saw it?
I think it was a co-star on Criminal Minds. I would check back frequently to see if the network had added me. I definitely felt it a rite of passage when my name was finally up there.
5. How has IMDbPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?
IMDbPro lets me discover who the creative forces are behind any film or television project. This helps me formulate a strategy on how best to market myself to any number of people involved—casting, producers, directors, etc. It’s like connecting the dots.
6. Any funny casting stories?
I remember driving three hours to an audition in Tampa that took place in a video store, after hours. After an hour or so waiting outside, with dozens of other actors, I was escorted into the store where I found the director sitting alone at a table. He was an odd looking fellow—ghost white and wearing sunglasses indoors at night—who didn’t say a word. A woman, I assume the casting director, asked me to improvise a scene playing a vampire who just had his first taste of blood in a thousand years. So I did. And I just remember the lady looking at me with a confused head-tilt, while the director sat expressionless. So I drove three hours back home.
7. Tell us a fun fact about you outside of acting.
I’ve easily clocked hundreds of hours watching documentaries about astronomy and theoretical astrophysics. Science Channel, YouTube, anywhere I can find it. It’s quite meditative….and helps keep things in perspective.