What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
I think that by wearing someone else’s skin I get to understand much better other people’s view points. Acting leads to understanding people better.
Of all the roles you have played in the past, which is your favorite?
I have many. I played a Vampire, I’ve been eaten by zombies, I even played the Joker for a fan film. I like all my roles.
How do you show your cast mates the importance of communication?
By being a good listener. We all can definitely communicate much better with each other if we let others speak and be heard. Then you can make your point across much more effectively.
Tell me about a time where you had difficulty with a character. What was the role and why was it challenging?
The role of “ANN”…it was super difficult and it took me 5 months of long rehearsals to finally find her voice and personality. I had to portray two female roles and dance a lot. I can definitely say this was THE role that pushed me to prove all my years of acting classes. It was also very rewarding. Wonderful film!
Tell us about your film “Ann”, I understand it was a tiny film that captured the hearts of many and winning multiple awards.
Yes! Tiny but huge at the same time. Carla Forte wrote the story 8 years ago and offered me the title role which I thought it was crazy. My fear was that I thought I would look cartoonish and probably not do a good service to the LGBT community. But Carla reassured me that it was a role only I could play. I felt honored yet scared to death. It was an intense process that required many physical changes like losing weight and wearing permanent hair extensions…once rehearsals started my confidence built up and step by step I was able to find ANN. Best role I’ve ever played so far that’s for sure.
How did you prepare to play a transgender successfully and what was your biggest challenge?
I forgot about “acting” or “technique”…. a lot of times it can ruin your process. I focused on ANN’s realities as a woman…her struggle, fears, and desires. I wanted her to be a woman…that audiences would see her as a female rather than a guy on drag. It was a huge challenge to make her look and sound as a woman without relying in falsettos or prosthetics. I woulda die if she turned out looking like a caricature. That was my biggest fear.
What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?
Every script presents challenges because they are someone’s own perception of reality. Their reality. Thus it is always challenging to convey the truth of such stories to the audiences. Writers want their scripts to be translated into acting properly and respectfully. That alone is a challenge.
Why did you want to be involved in this production?
I wanted to help Carla and Alexey ( our producer) finish the film as it was planned. I knew I could pull some strings and get others to help us. I know some people within the film festival circuit. I knew I could do a lot for the film. So I joined the process from within.
Who should not come see this show?
Judgmental people. Those against transgenders. They won’t like it one bit because it would challenge their squared views of the world.
What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
Well some would say “what the heck we just saw?” (Lol) and others would call it “haunting yet beautiful”…and that’s how the world works. Can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself making the movie you want to make. We’ve been fortunate that most people who have watched ANN loved it.
What do you love about this character?
The challenges, the camaraderie when pre producing a project, the opportunities to travel and meet Likeminded people; this career is my vocation. I don’t act for fame or even fortune. Those who know me well would tell you that’s the truth about me. I tend to stay away from “celebrity” status. I’m super happy as I am right now. And I love it.
What do you hate about this character?
About this character I hate nothing. I actually love this character. Now, about the industry I hate the flakiness of certain people. Too many fakes and double faces to name them. I hate pretentious people.
What type of projects can fans expect in the future from you and where can they follow your movement?
I can’t say much right now but I’m “cooking” couple of things as we speak. I certainly look forward for another collaboration with Carla Forte and bring you another great character worthy of similar or better fate as ANN.