Yes But Why ep 218 Eric James Morris on having the grit and dedication to maintain a career in entertainment!
In this week’s Yes But Why episode, we talk to Atlanta actor, Eric James Morris.
Eric James Morris is an entertainment professional who was born and raised in Atlanta GA. Being a native, Eric has a unique perspective on the growing Atlanta entertainment industry.
The episode opens with the “Wild Thing” story! Eric has been playing guitar since he was 12 years old and this is the story of his first performance.
We talk about when Eric was a rowdy skateboarding teen. Eric shares stories of performing Johnny Cash covers in restaurants.
Years later, after getting married and having kids, Eric got into acting for film and television and now that is the creative path to which he is currently dedicated. Eric tells me the story of his stumble into his first break. He tells me how to juggle being a dad with being an actor while also running Morris Enviro foundation repair business. This guy keeps BUSY!
In our conversation, we talk about the training that goes into being an actor. Eric takes his acting classes very seriously. He is excited to develop his craft. We discuss the rhythm and structure of comedy.
Support Eric James Morris by checking out his IMDB page and watching his movies! Also, if you live in the Atlanta area and need help with waterproofing and/or foundation repair, contact Eric at Morris Enviro.
Yes But Why Podcast is a proud member of the HC Universal Network family of podcasts. Download the FREE HC Universal Network app for Android and iDevices or visit us at HCUniversalNetwork.com and join the fun.
This episode of Yes But Why podcast is sponsored by audible – get your FREE audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at http://www.audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY.
(production notes: recorded Skype call with Rodecaster at the home studio on 6/3/2020)
TRANSCRIPT by Otter.ai
Hello, Yes But Why listeners, this is your host, Amy Jordan. Welcome to episode 218 with Atlanta actor, Eric James Morris. But first, a bit about our sponsor. This episode of Yes But Why podcast is sponsored by audible. You can get your FREE audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY. In my conversation with Eric, he mentions that he did Johnny Cash covers when he performed music in restaurants for a while. So I looked up Johnny Cash and wow, there are a lot of cool looking biographies and also a recording of Johnny Cash himself reading the entirety of the New Testament. Whoa. Things you don’t expect to find. But they’re here on Audible! Audible is available for your iPhone, Android, or Kindle. Download your free audiobook today at audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY. In this week’s Yes But Why episode, we talk to Atlanta actor, Eric James Morris. Eric has been playing guitar since he was 12 years old and he tells me the story of his first performance. Years later, after getting married and having kids, Eric got into acting for film and television and now that is the creative path to which he is currently dedicated. I now present to you: Yes But Why ep 218 Eric James Morris on having the grit and dedication to maintain a career in entertainment! I’m Amy Jordan, and this is yes, but why podcast
The first time that I had the taste of entertainment, I was maybe 13 years old. And I’ve always been a musician. Okay, I started playing guitar when I was about 12. I had a stepbrother that was much older than me for a little while. And they were into playing guitar and I picked it up and I’ve always had a thing for it. I used to just play it all the time. And so there was a talent show at our junior high school. And I decided to get in and I mean, another guy was going to get up there and do a song together. He chickened out last minute. I was going to go solo and then some other guys had the ad deal they were going to do a little band peace and I’ve never didn’t really know these guys, I was only one of them, but the other two I didn’t really know And I didn’t realize that these guys have never played an instrument or life. And but they were ready to get it wrong. So I just assumed they knew how to play. You know, we’re going to play a song called by George. They’re a good bat to the ball. That was the plan. Yeah. And so the curtain opens, the guy tries to hit the drums and he can’t he can’t keep a time to save his life. The other dad didn’t know how to play their song and I started playing it. And the guy tried to seeing and it’s this was like it was disaster. They were closing their current doors. So I was like, what the world? So I said, Well, wait, wait, wait. I knew the sound guy. It was a friend of mine and his name was Dale. And I’ll say Wait, Dale, hang on, man. Turn it back up. And so he did. And then I got my guitar. I went up to the microphone, and the whole school they’re all selected. And I I didn’t say anything. And I was like, well I don’t mind I’m doing the song called a wild thing. So I just looked out and then opened up with a while, you know, I started playing the song and I sing it and and everybody was laughed at first but then they were like they were they were all smiling and then they did the whole song and sang it. And from then on out everybody started calling my nickname was wild thing. And no, girls loved it, man if they Yeah, it fully boosted my whatever you want to call it. Yeah, it was kind of cool. And I just kind of fell in love with it. And I always had a thing for that. I mean, my goal was to bill. I know it’s hard to believe it when you look at my photos. or hear me talk, but I’ll add my goals were to be a, maybe a punk rock star or something like that I was kind of I was a big skateboarder, too. And so it went hand in hand. And that was my thing. And I was really good guitarist, there wasn’t the best to seeing. I mean, cuz I just didn’t really pursue that a lot. But I could seem a little, you know, but I wasn’t no, you know, I have this deep voice. So it has, you know, I’m not in everybody’s range, if you know what I’m saying. Sure. And so,
you don’t have to sound like anything. You could just talk into the microphone, and it’s super punk rock.
Yeah, you know, I could pull off some misfit songs, you know, the flights there but not definitely no Megadeth or anybody to sing early. So, anyways, I had a little band and you know, we played you know, I made a lot of bad choices. I mean, I just had a bad upbringing. Several step dad’s and you know, there was drugs and stuff like that involved but I managed to stay walked through a pretty clean line considering where I was at and how I got there and
then High School.
Yeah. And then, you know, kind of high school wasn’t top priority. Skateboarding was really in love, you know. Mainly Atlanta Metro. I mean, I, we moved around. We live on the south side of Atlanta, which Clayton County you know, it’s not known as one of the best areas I guess, but Forest Park that and then we moved out west of Atlanta and was on over in Cobb County and eventually made our way to Douglas County, which was further west. My mom got remarried a few times along the way, and, you know, just tell off me and I just had Dallas’s to park on. We’ll see My goal was to move to Venice Beach and California and take up surfing and be some kind of professional punk rock guy. You know, that was my dream. And thankfully, it didn’t happen that way. Because I probably wouldn’t be allowed today. But, you know, that was kind of gives you a glimpse of what I was like. I was, I was me, and I did straighten up later on as a late teenager.
Here to go to California, like Dude, like when you were a kid trying to like I’m going or anything like that.
Yeah, pretty much. That was my plan. I had it all mapped out. And I was like, Yeah, man, Venice Beach is this that’s it. I was able to keep up with a at the town. There was no internet, you know. So yeah, I would love with various magazines, Thrasher course and then some different surfer stuff. But you know, I like that. Do surfing but at time I didn’t never have never served in my life. I was invalid, don’t live near a beach. But, you know, it kind of went hand in hand. I knew if I just had some time in the water, I’d be good at it. And so I kind of would keep up with it. And I noticed that Venice Beach was you know, they they talk about the head to skate parks, they’re on the beach and they every now and then the surf would be good that have competition sometimes in Santa Monica and alto Malibu, that whole area and then of course in Australia you know, though, everybody knows surfing there’s the off chain and then I was like well I discovered everyone have a surf competition in Florida and I never even considered Florida and and was so down and they called it Melbourne beach which is down around like cocoa. And I was like no born, huh? No, the California don’t work out how to school their male boss gotta be cool. Guess what? There’s a big city in Australia called male born. was was just an idiot, you know, I don’t want to say and we’re all kids, you know, No, dad, but this this, I’m just trying to let everybody know what I was like as a as a kid and sure and how the life advice I grew up like I said a little punk rock band and
wasn’t even the
witch doctor. Yeah.
You’re like a logo.
I know. I think we had a logo, but it kind of changed every week but but I was new I left it and the other gas kept going and they actually got pretty good and so much they invited a few years later, they invited me to come so they had a big concert one of these arenas here in Atlanta on a tribute man, it’ll take you know, and It’s pretty cool it’s in honor you know. I know it’s it and I had a guy recently come back into my life it was he spent my best buddy named Marshall and we were all into chasing girls and he later not I did play football. I just didn’t go to practice very often and I actually want to be kicked off the team but know that
you know. I
know a lot of wrongdoing here. You don’t have to tell anyone any of these things.
But you know, still had a lot of friends and crowds Okay, so, but my buddy morsel later in life, he went missing and I don’t know what happened to them. And then finally, he came back around just a couple years ago and he on Facebook, you see a nice colony and he was in jail for a long time, not as a shell, somebody I don’t know what happened. But anyways, he told me he’s like, man, I was wondering what happened to you, man. He said, I just knew you were going to be like out in Los Angeles, you know, surrounded by blonde chicks snorting cocaine off the end of your guitar. I’m thinking, Wow, man, I ain’t talked to this guy, you know, man, 20, Donnelly, 25 years, maybe more, and that’s the image I left with him. That’s what he thought I was going to be doing with my life. And it kind of made me smile thinking about it, but I was like, Nah, dude. It didn’t work out that way. Probably. Probably a good reason. It didn’t work out their way. And I you know? Well, you know, that’s a good question. I guess I Well, my mother started dating a gentleman and they became my stepdad. And they got married when I turned 18. And we he was former military and fireman things like that, and we started getting into doing some jogging and he got me into doing some fitness type stuff and which I was always feared but I’ve never like pursued it that way. You know, it just came because of what I was into. So we got into running a lot and then you know, just missing you know, I’m getting my haircut and just kind of started taking a different path cleaned up. What’s to say? I started working a lot had a job in construction and I met a girl. She’s my wife. She’s my wife today. And wow. Yeah. We’ve been together a long time. So I just had a lot going on.
You are so could have been yesterday. I don’t know.
I’m not with spring chicken. But we had kids early. Two sons and they’re both older now and I’ve said a lot of grown up to do early on. So all that music stuff all my big dreams I kind of just went to crap and but I’ve always played music I stayed with it just didn’t do a lot of it in my 20s I kind of got away from it. And then later on I started playing acoustic gigs. Single solo type things, restaurants, book fairs, stuff like that. Do a classic classical rock or kosher music, bought a Johnny Cash type stuff. We do covers up and stay busy. I was making pretty good money ever we can do it Obama said forget the world was not even fun anymore. So I guess I was, you know, doing it right. Exactly.
So like, did you have like a gig every night of the week at different restaurants around town? What was your regular like schedule for a while
for the business? Oh god. I was doing it. Friday night, Saturday night, sometimes Wednesday nights. And I was you know, doing it for tips so I didn’t do it every night but it was some time well there was some weeks it might have been more often than three nights a week. If there was a fair turn what time of the year it was. Bob would play you know, wherever I could, you know, and my goal was to actually go I wanted to start a Johnny Cash tribute cover band like like the Get up and all man this gal with a stand up bass and you know, the 50s era clothing. That was what I tried to put that together. But I realized as I was older that is hard to do. And I just tried to find guys that have the time to dedicate to this and to put it together it just didn’t work out but I had I really think it would be a cool thing and you know, booking weddings and doing the whole Jed tribute now looking looking apart. You know, it’d be really cool Yeah, totally. So But anyways, I kind of got away from that I got busy with life and I discovered acting along the way.
Yeah, so like get into it because somebody saw you performing music and said hey, you should be an actor Did you take a class somewhere above?
Now people that had said that to me they thought, you know what look the most attractive monster modeling stuff when I was younger, I should be a model. Maybe I should, you know, look like I should be on TV. And I always laugh at all my whatever man, you know, and didn’t already did you think about just whatever, you know, that was a compliment. Thank you What I would say, but later on my son, one of my sons when he was younger, he had an interest in acting. You want to check it out? And he was a really handsome kid. So I was like, All right. So we will When got them in little agent and got them some photos and modeling shots, head shots, stuff like that. And he started doing background work and as a minor somebody has to go with them now one of your parents and so we would do it occasionally I’d go and on a particular night it was a really young director that was doing a small project and we were there. And all of his background talent did not show up. It was a rainy night he had a bad location nobody could find it. He asked me in life we would help fill in this little bar scene as an extra maka sure whatever man was hanging out, so didn’t know nothing about it. One of the other ladies said this mouth to me, like we’re talking, you know, just recite the muscle of the year like we’re having a conversation but don’t actually say anything, you know, so I was like, okay, so we did that. And anyways, that towards the director, he had a name. He asked me if I ever done any acting and I was like, Nah, man. He says, Well, you should you have an important look. I was like, Okay, well, thank you. I didn’t know what to say to that. So I just kind of let that kind of simmer for a while my son he kind of just build from acting. He didn’t like he had a few bad auditions. And he saw it’s very difficult. It’s not as easy as it seems on the surface. And he got out of course, in high school, he just didn’t have time. So anyways, along the way, I met a guy. I looked at a property for him that he was thinking about buying and because of my business, you know, we do waterproofing foundation repairs, we were talking about is this property and somehow he mentioned that he was from all SAS Listen, he was both an actor so I started asking questions, you know, and he could he could tell I was interested. And he used to train at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, which is a well known place out there a lot of a a listers. of trial and error, some point or lies. And so I thought that was kind of cool. And he Well, he invited me to come to his seat, a little acting class that he did locally and he invited me to go. So I went,
and what was his name again?
Clayton Bailey. That’s his name. So very nice, dude. He, I’m not sure how he wound up in Georgia. But But yeah, he was a great actor. Has anyone ended up in Georgia and I just happen to be born here.
The first time, that’s the best way.
But I never I never looked back. I just fell in love with it is so challenging and I had to overcome you know, putting all my poker face all the time and showing emotion. You know, an acting, but coming from an honest place, and it’s hard. It’s just not easy, and I like that but I do like doing the visual arts and Making an audience you know, feel something from your performance, whatever that may be some sort of an emotion. And music does the same thing as a performer. And, but acting is so much more to it. It’s hard as there’s so many different selectors music is deep for me. I love it. I love all genres. And I just love a good performance. I don’t care what it is, if I you know, I mean some of the best performances I’ve ever had was at a senior center with a bunch of old dudes jamming out playing you know, oh, doors, Jones type stuff. I mean, just man, I talked about a star smell I can’t wait to go back and see them guys again. And I’m going over things over, just because that’s how much I like it. But acting is similar. But it’s so hard. It’s so difficult because not the not just this. The acting is doing it over and over again for different takes different angles with the camera. You know, maybe there’s a lot of, you know, maybe in this independent world, that airplane happened to be flying over on your mistake, you know, you have to do it again. You know, so I mean this stuff, like, there’s so many different elements to it. But when you watch the process of it, how it comes together with a shooting schedule, I feel sorry for the editing guys, because I know they go through a lot. But the final product is dis wide like, wow, you know. So now when I watch a movie or a show, since I’ve became an actor, it’s just, it’s just, yeah, look at everything different. And it’s not the same at all.
Yeah, totally. Totally. When we, when we go to movies, we always watch all the way through to the end, like to all of the names and we try to like read a few of them out loud. Because it’s like, look at all these people and I love there’s a few movies where like at the very end they’ll say how many people worked on it. And you’re like, yeah, Yeah, 17,000 people. That’s right. You know, like, I get so excited about that. Yeah, my favorite thing is like seeing all just watching it being made, how it works. Like, what how different it is from like, what happens when you’re shooting to like, how it gets edited together and everything. Man, that’s so cool. Like just the whole process of that, you know, you know, I wanted to ask you a question you do your music, like in a live performance scenario, why didn’t you do you but you got into film and I see that you got into film not because you were like looking for film, but but because film was looking for you. But like, you know, have you ever thought about doing like theater or you know, like, you know, something like an improv class or something like that, because like you’re a live performance guy. You’re like talking about how you’d love to you can’t wait to go back and you know, play Guitar at the senior center. It’s like, Hey, man, bring your improv troupe and they love it as well. You know why stage as well doing performances in that way?
Well, I’ve never done theater. And I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to do a traveling, play. And it was Adam and it was paid. They were going to tour the southeast and up the East Coast and all this stuff. And I didn’t know that when I said, Okay, it kind of came at me indirectly from somebody through Facebook, and somebody had dropped out this guy thought I was perfect. And I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal. I thought it was just, you know, we’re gonna do this play one time and that’s it. No, it was like, three, four nights a week. I’m like, What? And? And then I know, I told him, yes. And then the next day I was like, I got to tell this guy. I can’t. I cannot admitted this, there’s no way I had too much going on. So I did. I told him I said, Look, I’m sorry. But it’s better I tell you this The sooner the better, because I know you’re depending on me to be there. And I’m going to let you down. I’m going to tell you now you so it’s better that we just don’t do this. So it’s just a moment. But you know, he, I think he appreciated that I was so honest, so early
on he also but nobody likes you know, to have somebody drop out. But that doesn’t mean they hate you personally. You know what I mean? They’re just like, Oh, no, I have more work to do, but it’s not like you, so don’t worry.
Well, I you know, I dropped out after 12 hours of saying, okay, so it wasn’t, you know, I didn’t like commit and go practice and then bail after, you know, like, yeah, you know, I’m sad. So totally, totally.
Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing about theater is it’s, it’s, I guess it’s the part of film you don’t like, which is the repeating like, you have to do it. You go and rehearse and you do it over and over and over and over and over. Then you get an audience and then you do it over and over and over and over and over and over and over. But it’s always the same thing. And it’s always the same thing. So like, I can see if that’s not your deal, but it might not be great.
Not just because I do run a business as well, yeah. And after, you know, it’s just I was like, man, I don’t there’s no way I can commit to, you know, traveling the East Coast. For mom, doing a traveling play. I just don’t see that happening. I just there’s joy.
Yeah, the Torah aspect when you have a family and a business is not really great. But like if you had one in town, I don’t know what like I don’t know what the Atlanta theater scene is like. I know the Atlanta film scene is thriving, but I don’t know if the Atlanta theater scene is thriving. However, the Atlanta improv scene is thriving. I do know that just so you’re aware.
Well, you know what, it’s funny you say that because I, I have a strong interest in comedy, especially in film, or television. I, I enjoy it. I really I’ve done it a couple of times. And here’s one thing I want to tell you this story. This happened to me a few years ago I was I got cast in a pilot. But this was through it was a competition for the Sony PlayStation Network. I don’t even know if they still even have that network but they did at one time. They were like a streaming network and through Sony PlayStation. So it was for independent up and coming. filmmakers that everybody you know, created a palette for a show, and I got cast as one of the characters in his pilot, and lost my part was small. I was the comedy relief. Believe it or not, of the episode. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never I didn’t see the whole script. I didn’t know what the episode was about, but all I knew about was my character and monsters. And I was the golf car salesman. So I was like, Alright, and this golf car salesman whose job is to sell the main guy, a golf cart and he breaks out every sales technique known to man, but you’ll know he’s selling a golf cart until the closing of the scene. So that’s kind of what that’s kind of what makes it funny. You know, worse fish got really close and tie. Well, anyways, I got cat, I got all dition through local casting director and I got the power and all that and they wanted me to really play it up in person. And I’ll tell you, you know, when I was in that room, it was probably this was actually a golf car place and there’s a town here called Peachtree City where everybody drives golf carts, so they actually have a golf course or shoe. So anyway, Wren saw this place and shooting the scene and you know, I did my thing and the room was full of about 50 plus people with all different characters, the team production team everybody, and everybody’s watching me and they couldn’t get through. We did it a few times. And people everybody in the room started dying laughing, you know? And I was like, Man, this is this is awesome. You know, I was so happy that they were happy that what I was giving them and it was not a door it was actually a funny thing. You know, just most time I play these, you know, these killers and stuff, man. So it was nice to do something that was that made people happy. So I really enjoyed it a lot. And they they liked it so much that they of course they put me in there. And this young girl she actually won the competition and no the goal the win from Sony PlayStation was to get a season on Sony PlayStation Network with your your series So, and then I was I was great. You know, my part was a one part wonder on the comic relief. That was it. Well, a couple of months later, one of the producers for the show, she gives me a call and says that they liked me so much. They were going to write me in as a main character. I was going to be married to one of the other females. That was a main character on the show. So I’ll like man, it’s like a dream come true. We’re really okay. Awesome. Well, anybody that’s an actor knows that. No, talk’s cheap. So it even came together. It did it fell apart. And even the young girl the director who wanted does not know what happened, but they did not shoot the series. I didn’t even go through with it. It all just was a big. I think Sony PlayStation Network just tanked the whole thing after the fact.
Yeah, so we never had never even came together. It just ended and I say A few other cool things happened in my career so far that have you know seemed very promising but they didn’t quite make it you know, it’s just the way it is and and there’s a lot of that yeah you know, but that was a my taste of comedy and and I liked it a lot I but but i’m not i’m not a I’m not a funny guy and people that hang around me Don’t just die laughing You know I had a friend like that and most of your comics are they’re funny people I have to like go out on a limb and kind of be over the top you know almost Jim Carrey style but not quite two took for me to be expressive because my funny comedy comes from expressiveness not just saying stuff like yet to see me do it. Yeah, so I’m always interested in doing it and I looked at their place here locally called dad’s garage. You probably heard of it. Some classes but I just haven’t done it yet not not for the comedy stuff. I’m not really looking to be a stand up comic, but
I don’t think I think they do. I mean, maybe they do stand up comedy, but they’re definitely an improv place. improv is, is like, what if you don’t like doing plays more over and over, this is what you’re into, because improv is making it up on the spot. And even though that might sound super scary, right now, in a couple of classes, your brain will switch and you’ll be able to do it. Like it’s just kind of like a innate ability that you had when you were a kid. And you know, we don’t have it now. Because you know, being an adult is harder than being a kid. But you can open up the doors to the imagination. And then there it is, and then you can play and do different kinds of things. And the ideas are flowing, sort of free flowing in your brain. And it helps, you know, to do these kinds of scenes, it’s I also Really like improv for like therapy. You can do go do scenes and like work through stuff with your scene partners that like maybe you can’t work out in your life. You know, there’s somebody you really like if you have this argument it’s not gonna go well but you can have the argument in your improv class and see how it goes maybe cuz totally different with your improv person and you get out sort of what you need and then you know, you don’t have to worry about it.
I did take an improv class once said I was just a like a it was a four six week, you know, kind of short class type thing. And, and we did some goofy stuff like that we would just do like basically have these exercises with a scene partner. And I did enjoy it. It was awkward at first, but but they kind of enjoy it but I need to get I need to get back into it because I do want to work on my comp that my goal is an actor I plan to get some goofy headshots taken soon and try to start targeting some of this comic stuff and but big be good at it you know not not just make them think I’m good at
these like ad shots will like you and like a vague like in like a purple sweater with like balloons or like or like you and like a banana or like a like a rubber chicken man now I want to get those gems for myself or good
Well, you know, I was thinking well maybe you know like this right you know really destroy your hair and you know just the walk crawl side of the camera South
If you look online there’s this
if you look up Melissa McCarthy headshot there’s like a headshots that she did after she took classes at Groundlings where which was like her comedy theater and and they’re like crazy. She’s wearing like these big glasses and like a curly wig and making like a crazy face and I was like What a silly. You don’t have to have just a you know, because I do mostly comedy, but I also have headshots. You don’t have to have funny head jobs to do comedy. You know your regular old headshots. I mean, I don’t think there’s any way that you’re gonna take headshots where they’re not like, Who’s this smoldering hunk like, I’m sorry, but you’re not getting around that, like there’s no way. So just lean into it. And then, you know, you could dress like super smooth and then like, Okay, so here’s the key. So we’re talking about like, what’s the thing about comedy? There’s two things one, it’s rhythm. If you can like, and if you can figure out what the rhythm of a comedy is, you can always be funny.
And then the other is contrast. So like, the idea of comedy is essentially that something’s out of place and that thing that’s out of place doesn’t realize it’s out of place and will never realize it’s out of place. So like that guy who was like overly selling the golf cart, and then the reveal that he’s selling golf carts, it’s likely both it what he was saying was, you know, referencing something different and or that, you know, he was overly excited about something. And then it turned out that what he’s overly excited about is golf carts, which is like, why are you that excited about a golf cart? Right? So the contrast there is like how excited he is versus like what he’s excited about.
So that’s that just thinking about like your comedy had just and be like, you Totally normal outfit, but like you have a huge red bow tie. like everything’s fine. You’re still looking smooth. Everything’s awesome. Just one different thing. You’re wearing a Michael Jackson glove for some reason. Like, that’s just like, everything’s fine. You’re totally right. You’re wearing a very nice suit. Except for that Michael Jackson glove.
they’re like, Did you see the guy that you’d get? You’d get auditions just from that alone, honestly. Because like, because like, in my life, I’ve I’ve learned anything. It’s like you gotta stick out because there’s 1000 different people who are attractive, but like, you’re like, look at this weird thing. We love it. They might make funny but they’re calling yen so who cares?
I want to like I’m going to do there. That’s a great idea. So
that being said, Buyers your agents, like Who gave you this advice? It wasn’t me.
Oh, yeah. Well, I’m gonna do it because I really want to go that direction. I’m so sorry, man. I enjoy the whole you know, the being the guy that’s attractive but, but as a kid as a sicko, you know, that’s kind of like my go to character.
How did that what was your first role as a terrible murder? Well
how does one become a barber
about your career as a murderer?
Well the story they started off is just playing the hard detective guy, you know, I got cast and stuff a lot. And then that turned into the bad cop guy to doing, you know, wrongful stuff to people that didn’t deserve it. And then did it turn into being just kind of the the husband that is an asshole, you know, one of those types and then somehow it bloomed into killing people. No, it just doesn’t happen. Just
no idea how this happened. I was just, I was just a jerky husband. I just I don’t know how he got here.
So were you like Dexter? Like murderer? Were you like serial killer in this movie? Or was it like a? Oh, he’s like a nice mailman. Oh my god, he murdered everyone. What kind of movie was it?
More serial killer tie. You know? The guy that you wouldn’t expect it but you kind of something’s off you know, you That guy. And if I’m not playing that I’m usually playing some sort of bad guys never good guy. You know, it’s never like a I don’t really do good dramas where everything’s kind of normal or maybe it’s a you get to play the hero, that kind of stuff. I wish I was but and I would enjoy it. I would like to do a normal drama, maybe a love story or something that ends in a good way. Yeah, that’d be great. But I just that’s not how casting sees me these days. So I’m looking to change that. I’d like to go a little crazy man, like a little goofy stuff and play off that what you said earlier where, you know, people look at you and they assume you’re this way and then you start talking. You sound like Mickey Mouse and they’re like, what? So what are they whatever some kind of contrast, like you’re saying. I watched the movie The other day. Adam Sandler got I think it’s called grownups in the ladies room where they’re at the pool and they’re all worried about taking a bikini off and they see this one dude across the pool. He’s all steroids up and he’s all looking good and, and he comes over to them and then he starts talking. And he’s like, hey, ladies from Saskatoon. I saw like, they start laughing. They’re like every party will steroids but his voice. Is this funny because it was like what you said just a big contrast. So yeah, I want to kind of figure how to play on that. And I would rather lift people up if I had a choice in making people feel in the motion. make them laugh, make them feel good, rather than make them scared or mad at me. Yeah, because that’s just what I used to do. I mean,
if you’re doing this, you’re on the right path. You can’t get weirder roles than serial killer. So like next stop. comedy like there isn’t, you know what I mean? Like, there’s nowhere else to go. They’re like, well, he’s so that was weird. How do we get weirder? And they’re like, Okay, so what if you know what I mean? Like so and also the essence of comedy characters are the worst people in the world, like all characters who are comedy, but not all okay? Most comedy characters are terrible human beings. They’re not going to learn lessons, they are going to continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over, because it serves the situation, right? If they learned lessons, then it wouldn’t be fun for us to watch that thing. We need to expect that they’re constantly going to do the same things over and over. You know, like certain comedy characters that come back all the time, like, even ones like Mr. Bean. Mr. Bean doesn’t say anything, but he’s got a serious vibe going on. And it’s the same vibe in every single movie or television show. Like he’s kind of bumbling. He’s not sure he’s constantly getting Lost, and like getting in trouble. But like he didn’t mean to do the thing, but turns out he did the thing, you know. So there’s a lot of that and it just keeps happening over and over. Does he ever learn his lesson and then the end? No, everything ends up fine for him because he needs to live so they can do more movies. But it’s not that he’s going to learn and like at the end, he’s not like, you know, what I should have done is actually I should have put it in my pocket. Instead of holding the ticket in the air where I had to chase after it for the whole movie. Like, you know what I mean, they’re not going to learn. So yeah, serial killer seems like a crowd not so much learning lessons. So there we go. Comedy next up.
Wait, no, that’s that’s, that’s good. I guess. So
plus, you always look creepers in in comedies because like, think about like, Did you see the movie game night? It’s a movie with like Jason Bateman. And he’s they have the He and his wife are in love and they love playing games, but they have this weird creepy cop neighbor. Or I guess is maybe a security guard and his it’s he’s played by this guy, Jesse plemons. And he’s super weird and creepy, but he wants to be their friend so badly. So there’s this like joke about like, he’ll be like, Hey, what are you guys doing tonight? And I’m like, oh my god. Oh, were you standing there the whole time? And they’re like, yeah, oh, you guys having a game night? And they’re like, No, no, we have no one’s coming over. You should not come over. Is it really? I like that time that I came over? Can I just come over again? And they’re like, we’re gonna turn in early and then all their friends like, jump in the back window. They’re like, why do we have to jump in like he can’t know that we are having this game night. So like, he’s creepy and weird, but he serves as a comedy purpose in the movie by like being weird and creepy. And then you know, he loves them he wants to be with every time he sees them. What do you guys doing? Do you want to hang out? Do you wanna come over? I have pizza. Like, it’s just, you know, so So, you know, we’re dudes like that make me think of creepy is fine as long as it’s got a got a flip in a certain way that’s not like that creepy, you know?
Like Yeah, there’s a lot looser. Well, I’m going to try that’s my goal come my next big move as an actor, I’m trying to see what happens. I’m gonna play around with that. And I’ve done some funny commercials too. And I just have a good time, you know, being doing this stuff. And now it’s just, I rather make people laugh and you know, so it’s make them mad.
started doing film and stuff like that, like you know, you started through you You’d found an agent or something for your son. So he was doing work. How did you get it figured out for yourself? Did like an agent just come to you? Were you like, Did you like apply to a bunch of places? Have you been with the same agent for a while?
How’s it work?
I continue to take acting classes weekly for too little over two years straight. Which, you know, I mean, as in grand scheme of things, it’s not that big a deal, but I was doing workshops. I was trying to get better at acting because I wasn’t really that good at it. It was it was a it was a stretch for me to really, to to summarize is hard, and that’s why I liked it. Yeah. So I trained a lot. But to answer your question, I got cast in a couple little films, here and there. I played a mean dad and then that was my first role. The same thing, the next one I think the net my second project was a same similar type of thing of a space in the 50s this director was cool he had like all this wardrobe and props that were all from I mean period correct from the from the 50s man was amazing. So anyways, they played the mean dad and now went to and so eventually I decided to go I got some you know of course professional headshots done and when I started looking for an agent, I didn’t really have much on my resume. I the first agent I had was a there’s a local guy, I won’t say his name, he’s not really known. It’s not important it is a real agent and he was kind of one of them guys. View basically he hires you and but you got to take his acting class and you know stuff like that. had his job done from his guy which you know, it wouldn’t have been it wasn’t like it was a big deal it didn’t cost it cost me like nothing $100 or something for my headshots and then the class was like 70 bucks it wasn’t like it was a game changer payment or nothing but I learned that he was not a legitimate agent. He was just to me like to take it. I would say take advantage but people that were just especially children go parents that didn’t really know what was going on. would get involved and he would just booked in background work that was his thing. So I would have with him but a month, you know, and when I found out the word on him was meant to be so I just left it alone. He had me on his website on my whatever man and I just went on and got me another agent. So yeah, I went out to a couple but I didn’t really shop the first First of all went to was an agency here in Atlanta. She also has an office in Los Angeles. She’s well respected. She’d been around a long time. And they took me even with very little experience. They thought I had a good look. I thought I could play some good parts. And I was flattered. I said, Okay, thank you. And so didn’t see a lot of auditions at first. But the ones they were sending were, were a little too big for me at the time. I didn’t even have my technical recording stuff really, very well look at some of my auditions from back then it’s hilarious from where they are, not just from the performance, but just the technical aspect, like the lighting, the backdrop, I mean, all that stuff. I mean, it’s just comical looking back at it now. But at during this time, I had the audition for a co pilot in American made is talking to Tom Cruise for God’s sakes. So it’s cool. I think I got that Got the audition me I didn’t get the part obviously, but, but I was like, man, jeez. And it was a couple others that came through there were a little, little too much, you know, I mean, I didn’t see a lot of auditions. They were far and few between the one they did come they were they were substantial. I mean, one was for Stranger Things in the first season. It was a huge, a lot of a lot of words. It wasn’t a one liner, no day player. It was a big one, you know. And so, that’s essentially what I did. I went back to my agent, and I told her, I said, you know, unfortunately, I’m going to stop for now, because I told her, I said, I don’t feel like I’m very good at this. And I don’t want to develop a bad name among the casting directors this early in the game, especially ones that are casting for stuff like this. So it’s She was shocked. She was like, Wow, really? So yeah. I just maybe, you know, maybe in the future maybe if you don’t mind, I may want to see about coming back. She said, okay, you know, she she understood, but she didn’t really like it. She didn’t agree with it. But so I left her with her with maybe not quite a year, maybe eight months. And so I went to another agency after that. And I went with her the sheep, she called me in for a meeting. And I met with her. And she told us on the way to country at a redneck accent that had to go. She said, I didn’t have enough experience. And with my accent was don’t get anywhere. She’s very rude. Very mean. And I was like, What? Okay, then she’s like, Well, you know, we talked for a while and I just kind of just told that we’re talking now. And then she’s like, Well, you know, but you do have a good look, then slight well, that actually I don’t know. But we’ll get to some stuff that you don’t have to talk us like, now looked at or us not to look as a male mug. You don’t have to take me It’s okay. You’re not gonna hurt my feelings, okay? And he said, Well, yeah, I do want to take you on. I’m like, Are you sure? Like he certainly won’t do. And so I got with her and that was a big mistake it she was just a bitch all the time. I couldn’t ask her question without getting a smartass answer. And it just it was disheartening and it made me when I would audition. I scared to send it in. Because if I had something to say, I sound too much like a redneck. You know, so it just really, it was a bad experience. I mean, it’s terrible. I just had some people around town, they know where they love her. She they think she’s a great agent, but not for me. worst I’ve ever had and so I was with her for a year. And I told her I was leaving and she was special. I don’t let the door he in the She didn’t care. So I left her and I went to another agency. And these guys I submitted online, they called me in for a meeting. And I’ve been with them now for about three years. And they’re great guys. These guys are down to earth are very good hearted. They care about me. They want to build me up. They want me to succeed. They know what’s coming. I’m surprised they haven’t dropped me because I haven’t booked a lot with them, to be honest with you. That David gave me some great audition stuff has some huge callbacks that I should have gotten. But if for some reason that’s not it, and you know, they’ve seen that so they believe in me, so I’ll stay with them. You know, and I’ve thought about changing agencies maybe coming up this year. But I’m not I know. I don’t know. Right. Now’s a tough time because the de virus thing, the pandemic, so there’s not a lot of witches out anymore, but now routinely was seeing on a regular at least one or two a week, which is a lot for a lot of actors in Atlanta, they don’t see that many. So I’m blessed and auditions and my agents are working. So I can’t complain about them. I feel like I’m letting them down. You know, I want to make them money. And I feel like I’m not doing my job. Now I book work on it. So when I get it from my agent, it’s a little different. But to answer your question, I didn’t really shop around I did my research on which agencies I thought would be a good fit before I even talk to anybody. So I didn’t just submit to like 10 different agencies. Oh, no error. No, you were early on. I did get rejected from one agency locally. And, and here’s what happened. This is early on, like when I first was looking for an agent, because one of my acting classmates had the same agent. And so I submitted to her she sent me a script seen and wanted me to read it like a monologue type thing. And now I did send it in Fall exactly to a tee what it said to do, but it said make sure your phone camera is, is a horizontal, not vertical. And I did shoot it that way. But I didn’t realize that my phone had a setting on it. There were it didn’t rotate. And so when I loaded it up it I had the kind of software out it didn’t look right. But when you put it into a file format to sin, it was it came out vertical. So she’s like, you can’t follow instructions. So therefore I’m not taking. I was like, Are you serious? You know, I said, well, you’re probably doing me a favor. Yeah. So I learned from that point, it is imperative. Every little note. So when whenever I get a breakdown for through my agent or anybody, I read it 10 times because everybody’s different. But nobody’s on the same page of what they want, how they want the file labeled how they want it shot, what kind of framing I mean, where, where they want to slay that. I mean, all that stuff is everybody is different. So you have to really pay. And if some casting directors won’t even want to watch it, if something is out of place, and I’ve had a cache and render one time, tell me I did something wrong. When I did follow the instructions, she forgot what she had put in the instructions herself. So you know what I’m saying? So, yeah, but that’s how I got going. And I do have an agent that I’ve been with for three years. Like I said a while ago, he’s they’re great guys. And I’ll say they’re awesome. And I hope that I’ll make them a lot of money one day.
I’m pretty sure as long as you’re, you know, still putting yourself out there and trying to get stuff going. It’ll work itself out and and they’re, they’re happy to have you. They’re happy to represent you. If it’s been three years and things have been going well then Hey, don’t fight it. Right.
Yeah, I can’t find it. I wish I had some different auditions for other projects that they don’t sing. I don’t seem to see, like I’ve noticed from the three agencies I’ve been with. It’s funny, you’ll see a trend, certain casting directors or that cast for certain things. They’re there. They seem to have relationships with different agencies, you know, so yeah, we’re like the agent I have now I’ve seen a lot of auditions for one particular show, and a lot of stuff from one particular casting director. And he cast for a lot of stuff, Tyler Perry. And the big callback, I had one time that was for undercover brother, too, was a big role that I had a callback but the director that came through him through him, so he tends to call me in quite a bit but he has a good relationship. But my agents, you know, so. But there’s other shows that are that are being shot here in town that I’ve never seen an audition for ever. And I know that a should be getting those. Do you know who so that is some things about try to look up and then I try to figure out. I’ve done that in the past where I’ve tried to figure out what agencies tend to work with who’s doing the casting of certain shows. There’s a couple of shows I really want it to be on. And I don’t mean the only one on my nose not going into more as the show called son records. I think they had one or two seasons. I thought that would have been awesome to be on that somehow in some kind of just whatever because of my passion for music and Johnny Cash. And then and then also Dallas, the remade.
Dallas remake is Made in Georgia Of course it is. Everything’s made in Georgia. Now. They also make a lot of speaking of most of the Georgia things that I’m watching are like animated. So there’s like that going on. There’s got to be some like voiceover work for you. You this voice that you have has to be, you know, good for voiceovers. It sounds nice. You have a nice voice.
Well, thank you. I haven’t really tried to do any voiceover work.
Think of trucks you could sell.
Yeah, you know the good for truck salesmen. Oh,
them I’d be like, he sounds like it seems like it’s a good car from when he said like he said bye for drugs. I’m like guys, I’m just saying he makes a strong point. What
you need you need this truck. I have done a few voice auditions for Bojangles chick. That is fun. Chicken yeah Bojangles the fast food chicken joint, you know, they don’t
know that very excited to hear about it.
Whether they’re they’re famous for like the Louisiana recipe, like a you know, so very good chicken establishment if you’re ever in the south, but they wanted somebody with a southern accent and I’ve actually done audition more than once. They do a lot of, I guess radio stuff, commercials where they’re looking for somebody who has a particular sound, but still hadn’t booked is I don’t know what they were looking for. So
they keep listening to it and they’re like, really enjoying it. And then they’re like, do you guys feel like this chicken is a little too sexy. Yeah, we can’t have this. This is not a thing. Get a woman she needs to be middle aged for the love of God. I can’t do this. Somebody give me some chicken. You know, I’m telling you that as soon as their ad agency rethinks the Way to sell chicken. They’ll call you right away. You’ll be the first one. They’ll be like, Is it hot in here? Buy some chicken like well, okay.
Oh yeah. Now
these are all fun. I’d like that. Also, you know, think of how fun and funny you probably have to be to do a chicken commercial. I can’t imagine it’s like a very serious like, it’s imperative for all Americans to eat some chicken. And if you’re going to do it, you might as well accomplish it at Bojangles chicken. Like that’s it?
Well, you know, good old Southern fried chicken. Good stuff.
I can’t imagine that. I’m surprised they have commercials it sells itself. I don’t think I’ve ever actually you know what, you’re right. I’ve definitely heard like Popeye’s comm
They don’t have to sell that right. People are breaking down the door trying to get a sandwich at that place. They don’t have to advertise.
Although it’s still selling, what are you?
Oh yeah, you’re funny. I’m so excited about the idea like, for you to do comedy. Oh, other thing I was gonna say is maybe improv isn’t the scene because who knows what the vibe is, but maybe find like a sketch comedy thing. Because sketch comedy, you’ll be writing, either you’re writing and then performing or sometimes other people are writing and you’re performing, but they’re like shorter comedy scenes, and it’d be easier for you to get involved in stuff and then so then the sketch comedy classes will lead you to the people who are making the comedy movies independently. And then the independent comedy movies will lead you to the larger comedy movies because then those people are making different kinds of movies or blah, blah, blah, and then somebody sees you at Austin Film Festival. On this hilarious comedy and they’re like, Who is that amazing vampire? I want him in my movie.
Is I appreciate it. I never even thought about it that way. I didn’t even be honest with you. I’m not really too sure what skits comedy really meant. So
I live what you see on Saturday Night Live there short scenes with jokes at it.
Well, that’s me all day long. Yeah, I can do it. That’s all I need to I’m gonna look into that. I really am. That’s, that’s, that’s the best advice I’ve had in a long time. So
I mean, in these days, we’re at home right? I’ve been well hey, I should probably not show this on my own podcast but but I am teaching sketch comedy classes to do writing but what you really need to do is like find people who are like, doing something near you, not near you like because I guess we can’t be near each other because still because of COVID but like, find like if there’s a Local maybe if dad dad’s garage is doing sketch comedy classes on zoom or something you can do that and then you can get in and they’ll teach you like how to do it and then you’re you know you connect with that crowd
I really am tomorrow want to look and see what’s out there because I haven’t even I never even looked for that. I didn’t know though I mean I’ve looked out of the province that thing you know, obviously and and in dad’s garage, so great and there’s other places too, but they they do have a great love of well known local a lot of great Atlanta talent trains there. But sketch comedy is I would like to give that a go that’s kind of like exactly what I would like to do. Just doing small scenes that are funny, you know, because I’m not. I’m not a natural comedy guy I just asked to like, be perfect. Paired so like my buddy, and regardless, so he died about 10 years ago, cancer babies and one funniest guys you’ve ever met in your life, man, a man, you could just, your wife could have just left you. Your dog just died and you got fired on the same day and talk to him in five minutes. You’d be laughing about it. It was that kind of guy. You know, he was just hilarious. And I always told him and I said, Dave, you got to become a comedian, man. You’re like the natural and but you know, whatever man he gets to, but we’re a matter of fact, when he tried to be funny, it wasn’t as funny. weird thing. So but for me, almost had to like put forth a lot of effort. Unless it just happened by accident to be to be to be comedic. But but I enjoy it. I like it.
So the the academy doesn’t want you to know, but it turns out it’s actually harder to do a comedy than a drama. And it’s real, because that requires a lot of timing and a lot of different things that, honestly are easier to accomplish on stage in front of people because it’s an energy thing. And so anybody who can actually edit together a good comedy movie, anytime you see a good comedy movie that editors a genius, because they have to put the rhythm of comedy into the editing. They have all that stuff to edit together, right? And yeah, maybe the scene that they built was written with the rhythm of the comedy. But when you’re putting stuff together, it’s not always exactly right or this second that second, so they have to be able to feel it. And it’s, it’s interesting. It’s interesting to see that being said, I want you to know that it’s like, it’s like, learning a new language like it’ll take a second to figure it out. But as soon as you understand how the comedy works, you won’t be able to watch another movie. Our television show that’s a comedy without being able to literally call out the rhythm. Like you’ll be able to watch it and be like, and there we go.
Like, you know what?
You’re right because I was watching I’m sure you’re familiar with the show’s very proper because of Charlie Sheen being for a while they’re all over the news. That show called Two and a Half Men. Yeah. Are you familiar with how they I never know I never watched the show nothing. I heard all about it. He was the highest paid actor to be on the show or something, something like that. And he’s all strung out on drugs and you know his story, but I never walk. Yeah, I’ve stumbled across it looking on my TV here. And I started watching a couple of episodes and I was watching the rhythm. Because his the way his the way his current character is the way he would deliver his comedy with his I guess it’s His brother a friend or his brother He lives with. It’s rather I think it’s interesting to watch. It’s very funny. But Charlie, she’s not being over the top with his comedy it. I don’t know if it’s just the writing, or just because the rhythm how he bounces off the other guy is what makes it so funny. But there’s something going on there that that show was actually really good. I just, you know, put the chart of scenes personal thing out of the picture just looking at the show, you know? Oh, well, I mean, honest to goodness, that
movie that show is made by Chuck Lorre, who’s literally like a magic maker of sitcom like if Chuck Lorre makes a show, watch it. It’s a huge hit. Like he wrote The Big Bang Theory, right? That’s like the number one like comedy for years for the last like 10 years or something like that. It’s the hugest thing in the world. That guy knows how to do the rhythm and I can almost guarantee you It was not Charlie Sheen’s amazing acting acumen that made him hilarious, but rather the perfect writing that went into those shows. Those shows are only funny because you are literally forced by the rhythm of comedy to laugh. They’re even moments like legit. Okay, Two and a Half Men is essentially just a dick joke and a fart joke. mixed with sad, man. Right? That’s what the show is right? It’s hilarious because it’s like, look at these two, they can’t figure it out. That’s the genius of all comedy, right? is people are terrible. And like they’re trying to, you’d think that this would be a show that would appeal to just, you know, dudes or like, or like people who were in that same mindset, but oh, no, no. My grandmother, my grandmother who used to yell at us for burping. Not even near the dinner table somewhere regular like I’m away from you, Nana, let me burp. You know, she’d yell at us from across the room. That’s disgusting. Have some respect for yourself. But her favorite show was Two and a Half Men are you kidding me? So I that that particular show transcends all comedy because how did it pierce through the heart of this woman who would yell at us for everything, and yet she’d be like, this is a great show. We’re like, Why? It was her favorite, like legit until her death. It was her favorite show so crazy.
But you know what you’re absolutely right about because I’m watching the show. And I’m watching Charlie Sheen’s character and what you just said, the writing of that definitely has a lot to do with it because I’m watching Charlie Sheen I’m trying to figure it out. Why is he so was this funny? And it’s what you just said is exactly. It puts it in you know, two layman’s terms is a far joke and a big joke you know, continuously and flood the writing is amazing. I’m look up all the time. Chuck Chuck’s work and see what see what other stuff? Oh,
stuff. You’ll be like surprised at the number of things. You’ll be like white. The same guy wrote this in this ayah Oh, yeah, yeah, he’s a TV writer, like hardcore. Definitely somebody will see in all the comedies for sure. For sure. In fact, you know, that’s a that’s an interesting way to go about it as well like watch comedies see what you like, once you know the style of comedy that you like to be in, then you can connect with people that also like that same kind. And then when those people are making their movies that are just like the ones that you like, you can be in those right, because comedies like comedies, not like drama, dramas, real life, but like, fake, right, like, you know what I mean? Like terrible things happen and people fall in love or they don’t or everyone’s happy or everyone said, like it’s just drama. It’s real life right? But with comedy There’s shades and variants and like, it’s not always your kind of comedy. Like there are certain kinds of comedy that appeal to a lot of people. Like I’m not really a big bang theory. Fan, right? I don’t love that show. Do I respect Chuck Lorre clearly, but do I want to watch that show? No. I just watched a couple times. I was like, I don’t care about the characters, right? Whatever. It’s fine. Do I love that? It’s the number one show. Yeah,
great. Good for them.
Right. Wonderful. Now my cup of tea. I also don’t love the office. Right? And everybody loves the office.
Right? Everyone’s doing this again, believe it anymore. Watch it like it just wasn’t my thing.
Right? But that’s just because it’s not my style. So you know, who knows what your style is. There is so much comedy out there so much different kinds of stuff. Who knows? Maybe you’ll fit right in with a certain crowd. You just need to find the right crowd.
Yeah, you’re right. That’s exactly what I’m going to look For so I did.
Yeah. Because we know like turn this into some weird like me giving you advice or whatever I apologize.
It’s perfect. I love it and anybody that hears this, hopefully that maybe is in the same boat, you know, that’s interested in doing some more comedy rather than killing their wives. Sure, yeah.
No, no avoid that.
Yeah, one avoid that. So this is a different direction. People that bring them down, I guess.
Oh, and Eric, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate you sharing your stories and chatting with me. And it’s just been a real pleasure to have you on the show.
Well, thank you. I’m glad you had me on your show. And I appreciate all your great advice.
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