Interviewed by: Danielle Demchick Pretsfelder, CSA
1) Has there been a Casting Director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?
I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to audition in front of some really wonderful casting directors! From the dynamic duo over at Karge/Ross, a Chicago based casting company - two superheroes who constantly brought me into the casting office for various projects, because they saw my potential for many different roles. Then, there’s O’Conner casting, another Chicago based casting company! Jessica Lyons is a CD there who’d always remind me of how much she appreciated my smile and my positivity! But, it wasn’t until I got the chance to audition for Danielle Demchick - the casting director for Nickelodeon, who really helped take my acting career to meet heights! Her support and encouragement makes me feel like a superstar! She’s a gem! Danielle cast me in Nickelodeon’s Noggin series, “Noggin Knows”. She said to me “The world needs to know you and your talent and passion and know that amazing, competitive talent exists outside of New York and LA. Series leads!” Can you imagine how emotional that made me!? An actor from Indiana, a place where opportunities like this are virtually non-existent, receiving that level of advocacy from a CD with an extraordinary library of work, and who I highly look up to! Gratified is not a strong enough word!.
2) What work are you most proud of?
All of the work I’ve done are like my babies! I become absolutely invested in the work I’m involved in! From smaller scale industrials, roles on TV and all the way up to film, I pour myself into the work! Self-tapes are my bread and butter, my forté! The freedom a selftape allows me as an actor gives me the flexibility to show all of what makes me unique! The way I slate, how I use the entire space and even the edit! I want to make my tapes feel like an episode of a show! I’m always very proud of the tapes I submit! The onscreen work that I’m most proud of is the work I did on Noggin Knows, the series I star in that teaches children amazing facts through the use of song and dance! I’m so proud of that series because it combines everything I love to do! I love entertaining, I love singing and dancing- I especially love that the series has helped so many children develop strong social and emotional skills all while hitting some fun dance moves! It took a lot of work to bring all of those elements together. It’s the most work I’ve ever done on anything EVER. I was awarded the honor of writing and recording the series music for the show, which I’m still astonished about, I was able to choreograph the moves that we learn in the show. Seeing all of that come to life in such a beautiful series makes the hard work all worth it! I’d do it 100 times over! The super skilled team behind the series also put in countless hours of time and effort! Together, we all made something that I’m over the moon proud of!
3) What or who inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
I am under an unshakable belief that I was born wanting to be an actor! It’s an intrinsic desire that came to the surface while watching 70s martial arts film with my late grandmother! I’d sneak into her room late at night when my siblings and I were all supposed to be in bed, and watch these incredible action flicks starring actors performing mind blowing martial arts sequences! Amazed? No. That’s not the word. Mindblown!? No, that’s not it either, although, both of those describe my initial feelings! Ah! Inspired! That’s it! I was inspired by those films. They made me realize that I wanted to do that! It wasn’t the cool fight sequences, the beautifully crafted wardrobe or the hilariously off sync vocal dubs hahaha! It was the feeling I got while watching these movies. I wanted to be responsible for making audiences feel as good as I felt while they watched a performance of mine. That’s what I wanted. To make people in the world happy as they escape inside a fantastic story! At the age of 3, I started calling myself Emmanuel Showbiz Carter. My mother, my amazing mother never discouraged me. She cultivated my love for film and helped me live in that inner world, until my dreams started to express themselves in the outer world.
4) What was your first IMDBPro credit and how did you feel when you saw it?
Wow, my first IMDb credit! I remember feeling like I reached a new milestone after that had gone up on IMDb. I always felt like having an IMDb credit was like officially being “put on the map” for an actor. I still feel that way! That feeling is constantly replicated with each new credit that goes up on my IMDb account. My very first credit was for a short film that I did called “Home Security”. That short was also the very first time I’d gotten paid to act in something! Double score! I remember feeling shocked to see my name on the internet, let alone the internet MOVIE database! I was like “Yeayuh! Ya boy dun made it!!” Hahaha!
5) How has IMDBPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?
IMDbPro has been an invaluable tool for pointing industry professionals to all of my material! I super love that I have all of my work compiled into one place that easily showcases my work! It’s too legit! I also love that I can update and personalize my page when I need to add new credits or stills or footage!
6) Any funny casting room stories?
Ooohhh funny is not the word! Embarrassing is more like it! Haha! Let me tell you! I had a callback audition for the movie “Beats”! This movie had a pretty high profile director attached! I’ve seen plenty of his work, but I’ve never actually SEEN the director! So! Haha! So....after I enter the room, I see that there are two men sitting at a table. One, a really slick, well dressed handsome white guy, and the other, a fresh to death black guy with long dreadlocks! I’m greeted by the slick, handsome guy! He says “Hey E! Thank you for being here! We really loved your first audition, and we are happy to have you back.” Shaking his hand TOO aggressively, borderline desperately, I say, “Wow! Thank you so much for bringing me back! May I just say that I enjoy all of your films! Really big fan of your raw directing style!” The guy with the dreads says, “Oh, umm...I’m actually the director of this film. You’re most likely taking about my films. I’m Chris.” My heart had jumped out of my chest and into my throat. I was so mortified that I couldn’t speak. Still clenching the slick guy’s hand, but unable to release my grasp due to shock induced rigor mortis, I finally let go and made my way to shake Chris’ hand! He kindly declined with a fist pump to his chest. I felt like an idiot haha! That messed up my WHOLE audition! Haha!
7) Tell us a fun fact about you outside of acting.
My favorite holiday is Halloween! It’s always been Halloween! Since I was a kid, my favorite Halloween activity was going to haunted houses! As I got older, I went from visiting haunted houses as a scary thrill, and more to soak in the atmosphere of the haunt season and to appreciate the work other Halloween lovers put into their haunt! I’ve been to most of the haunts in the Midwest! My goal - A nationwide haunted house adventure extravaganza! Wait! We will call it the Booventure Spooktacular! One day, I want to have my own haunted house! I already have a name! But, you’ll have to wait for that! Can’t go giving that away just yet! Teehee!View on IMDbPro More Actors of the Month