Friday, 25 August 2017

Industry Interview #33 - Kris Roberts

Kris Roberts has kindly taken some time to answer a few questions about working within the industry.
Kris is a very talented actor; working on many independent films including: The Guard, ECHO 13 and Isolation. 
As well as his extensive acting work, Kris is also talented behind the scenes with his writing/directing/producing debut of Quietus coming soon. 

Interview

Can you please share some background about how you became interested in working within the industry?

I first became interested in film when I was very small. My first cinema trip was to see Disney's The Little Mermaid, and from that moment I was hooked on film. Each time I watched a film, I found myself intrigued by the characters and wanted to do what they did. When I watched Jurassic Park, I wanted to be a palaeontologist. Or when I watched Twister, I wanted to be a storm chaser. After a while, I realised it wasn't so much the character's jobs or interests that I found interesting. It was becoming the character. So, from that moment, I realised I wanted to be an actor. After taking small roles in school plays, I found myself feeling a great deal of fulfilment in entertaining others and bringing happiness or laughter to an audience. The buzz was extraordinarily addictive. That has stayed with me all my life.

Kris' character Matt Lawrence
from Isolation.
What advice would you give to performers trying to break into the acting industry? 

My advice to those wanting to break into the acting industry is to never give up and take the good with the bad. This industry is one of the hardest to get into. I have had more than my fair share of fails and rejections. However, I believe that if you REALLY want to become an actor, you have to keep pushing and striving for it. If you stick with it, one of the most rewarding hobbies or professions.


What tips would you give to actors to follow while working on a production? 

Patience is a virtue, never forget that. Sometimes on a film set, you can be sitting around for up to two hours while the set is dressed or shots are set up. Always try to maintain enthusiasm and professionalism. Film making is a long and arduous process, it takes a lot of time. Be ready to start when the director calls for you and never give less energy than you started with. And, also, don't be shy or reserved. Acting can be very intimate and demand a lot from you. In an upcoming feature film I am starring in, I have a love scene which is very intimate. You can't be afraid to play a character. It really is all or nothing in this industry.

When looking at your impressive resume of acting work, one consistency I noticed was you have worked with Cory Naquin & Ryan Turner on many projects including The Guard and ECHO 13. Can you talk about what it is like working alongside the pair and how you have come to work so consistently together?  
Kris' character Ross
from ECHO 13

The first time I worked with Cory and Ryan was on the short film, The Guard, which they co-directed together. I auditioned for the lead role and was thrilled to get it. The shoot was only two days, but it was a huge joint effort to get the film made on time. The whole cast and crew bonded over those two days and we had a great time. When they started production on Echo 13, they invited me to play the role of Ross. I was very excited to work with them again so didn't hesitate in saying yes. They are very professional and are both on the same wavelength. They have great on set chemistry, they can navigate a shoot very efficiently and there is never any animosity or negativity on their film sets. They are very generous directors. They allow their cast to bring characterisation of their own to the table and are very supportive when filming delicate scenes. They are both also incredibly funny and nice guys. 

During ECHO 13 your character is involved in dark scenes throughout including the rape of Oliver. Can you discuss how these scenes were to shoot and the atmosphere on-set?

If I'm being honest, I hadn't read the script before I said yes to the role. So I had no idea what I was getting into. I just wanted to work with Cory and Ryan again. As soon as I was on board, they sent me a script. I was both excited and nervous, because I had never been involved in filming material like this before. The rape scene was my first day of filming and I had only just met Kieran (who plays Oliver) an hour or so before hand. It was a tense shoot. But, the entire cast involved in that scene had the utmost respect for one another and we all had a laugh about it afterwards and hung out. We just had to keep telling ourselves it wasn't real. That we were just playing characters. In fact, Echo 13 had a few scenes that were emotionally difficult. The execution scene and my death scene were both hard hitting whilst filming. But, nevertheless, we had an awesome time making the film and it was all worth it.

Kris' character 'The Guard'
from The Guard. 
Your role of The Guard featured within the film of the same name covered a great character arc, developing throughout until his final stand with the masked gang. The pivotal fight between you and Skull was very intense and exciting; can you talk us through the filming of these scenes?  

Ah yes!!! I had so much fun filming The Guard. We filmed it over two consecutive Sundays and after reading the script for the first time I loved the character. I could relate to him! He begins as a very shy and timid guy and throughout the attack from the gang he shows an inner strength and courage he never knew he had. Much like how I see myself when I started acting. So, portraying that transition was really interesting for me. The fight scene was terrific fun. On our first night, we did a couple of hours fight choreography and tried out some different fighting styles. I had the great pleasure of working alongside Scott Thomas Peel (who played Skull) and we trusted each other completely by the time we filmed it... although on our first take he did cut my hand with a hammer! It took about five to six hours to film the fight and I got thrown around quite a lot. So I wasn't short on bruises by the time I got home! The scene looked great in the final short and everyone was really happy with the end result.

Your talents also extend behind the camera with your writing, directing & producing debut coming up soon with Quietus. Can you talk about how your experience as an actor has helped you with the writing and directing of your own project?

Quietus has been a personal project of mine for nearly four years. I have always loved creative writing. It is a fantastic form of escapism and whenever I had a though day at school or work or if I was feeling down, I would write a story. With having worked on film for the last couple of years, I have had the chance to observe and shadow several directors and producers and learn some of the tricks of the trade. Once I became more confident with what I was learning, I decided to use this knowledge to bring my vision to life. Sometimes just watching people at work can be the best form of learning. I am self-taught in every aspect of the craft. I didn't go on any courses or go to university or take classes on writing or acting. I have simply watched, practised, and experimented on my own. And Quietus has really just taken off over the last year. I invested in my own equipment (a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Rode Mic, sound gear, Steadicam unit etc etc) , sourced a talented cast and a crew I could trust, and set up a small indie production company. Filming started a month ago.

In closing what can you tell our readers about Quietus?
Promotional photo for the upcoming Quietus.

Quietus will be an eight-episode series and it will follow a small group of ordinary people as they attempt to survive in a new and cruel world after civilisation has fallen. The main characters are two brothers, Ryan and Theo, and they are taken in by a group. The story really is about their journey to find salvation and safety. It is a psychological thriller/drama/horror. It is also going to feature an infected population who will be the main threat to the group. This series will pay homage to genre pieces such as The Crazies, 28 Days Later, even The Last of Us. We have a phenomenal cast. The cast includes Jonny Woollett, Alex Easten, Sharon Cummings, Paul Outterside, Clare Mitchell, Emily-Jane Jones, Jackson Maule, and myself. All these guys are awesomely talented and I can't wait to show the world what they can do. We are looking at a late 2018 release. A YouTube channel will be set up for promotional material soon and there is already a official Facebook page. So keep watching this space...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

My Journey - August 17th 2017

These last 3 weeks have been absolutely crazy - I've constantly been meaning to post an update on what's been going on but if I'm honest it's been a total whirlwind for me that I haven't had the chance - But here's to trying! 
So, firstly I fulfilled a life long goal that I can only hope to continue in the future and got to work on and experience an in action live TV production, Channel 5's The Wright Stuff
This experience was indescribably valuable and insightful. Big thanks to both Natalie Totham and Nick Pinn who both made me feel welcome and at ease as soon as I entered the set. 
Big thanks to Matthew Wright for allowing me on the show also (As a big fan of the show prior it was an honour to see the process behind it) and finally a huge, huge thank you to Andrew Lancel who has helped me so much with this experience and then also my second landmark point I wanted to cover.
Getting to watch and then work on the outstanding A Judgement In Stone. It was unbelievable! I cannot remember the last time I was so enthralled and invested in a production, the cast were phenomenal. Each and everyone one of them such talented icons that I felt honoured to be sharing the theatre with. I've never felt such a working atmosphere, intense and quick paced but loving and happy. I cannot do the experience or the show for that matter enough justice in these words so instead I will thank Andrew once again for being so incredible and helping me out as much as you have. Big thanks to Paul Ferris who allowed me to work this wonderful show.
Thanks to both Pam and Will who I spent each half of the show working with - Again so insightful and fun! Both so talented and kind, again I just felt at ease. 
And then a final thanks to the entire wonderful cast and crew (whom if I individually mentioned by name might make this very long post much longer) for creating such a wonderful show, for allowing me to see your talents in front and backstage and for making me feel part of your theatre family for the time I was there. 
So after the unbelievable, crazy, exciting blur of a weekend (that I still cannot quite believe happened) I had little time to process my vacation was quickly approaching. 
We were travelling to Orlando but my family agreed to take me down to Senoia, Georgia (Home of many films and TV shows including The Walking Dead!!) 
Whilst there I had hoped to meet a few people whom I've known digitally for years and followed their work even longer, but I could never have expected the amazing experiences and turn out of talent I would have whilst there, so once again I'll start with day one. 
I met with Pete Pitts and Skylar Felton for lunch upon my arrival, two very talented and inspirational men who made me feel like a VIP. Incredibly modest and kind, the pair travelled straight from work to meet me and filled me with all sorts of knowledge and insights. I left with two good friends and lots of gifts!! - One of which being a personally signed copy of Pete's book; Path to Success. (Which everyone should check out!!), another his album Short on Time (Which again everyone should check out) and finally a mini Lucille keying which I wear as a badge of honour... #TeamNegan 
Amongst many more gifts and experiences which again I would need another post entirely to cover.
(Thank you so much guys once again for making the trip!!) 
Next came my trip to the heart of the show (and many others) with my trip to Senoia filling so many life dreams of mine. I got to see Woodbury & Alexandria Safe-Zone, I got to go to Woodbury Shoppe (both in their store and their amazing museum) and got to eat at Nic & Norman's a wonderful restaurant, which I will discuss more soon but is owned by The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus and Greg Nicotero. 
Not only did I get to see all of these incredible sights....I got to see them with around 20 of the cast!! 20!!! I got to meet some old friends that as I said I've known digitally for years and made some new ones.
The meal we had together and then the walking tour and ice cream was all organised by one of my longest industry friends Becky Lindsay Shaw whose talent and heart knows no bounds - It truly was one of the most surreal, humbling, amazing moments of my life. I am still struggling to believe it happened. I have so much love for Becky, so finally getting to meet her in person after all this time was unbelievable. (Not to mention sharing a cell with Achey Breaky herself!
I was filled with great food (Paid for by the lovely  Cheryl Jones Harvey - Whom I must return the favour to next time, whichever side of the pond that may be on - Truly a very kind and talented lady, who I think noticed quite often how much I was blown away by this experience and needed a reassuring smile telling me it was really happening) 
I received lots of gift, autographs, photos and memories and have made many life long friends. 
All of them made the trip out and I cannot express how amazing and humbling that was, all coming with smiles and love. 
Thank you so much to everyone who came, I have a special place in my heart for each of you (and this day will never be forgotten)
And then a huge thank you to Nic & Norman's, one of the best dining experiences I've ever had in my life and the gifts they provided were way too generous including a Lucille replica and a Nic & Norman's T-Shirt, both of which I'll be adding a photo with on here soon. 
After all of this I sat back and realised how truly blessed I've been to know all of these people and get all of these experiences and this morning I officially received my acceptance into The University of Salford!! 
It's been a lot to process (and to write! haha) but I would jump at the chance to do any and all of it again and can't wait to meet up with all the above mentioned again soon, so much love, gratitude, respect and appreciation for you all. 
In closing (I know....I'm STILL writing more) I must thank everyone that have constantly supported me and helped me experience all of the above mentioned, many have already been included above but I must thank my mum, my dad, my brother and my Nanna, who have went above and beyond for me always and have given me nothing but love and support - I love you all so much! 

My Journey - July 14th 2017

My first ever production that I have written, produced and directed myself.
As someone who often enjoys working alongside others as part of the production team rather than taking the forefront, this was a very ambitious first venture for me with a cast of over thirty people to organise and a crew of a similar size.
We worked on numerous locations and for many hours, often facing restrictions with talents schedules as well as location times limiting some scenes to one take.
There are things I look forward to doing differently next time and I have learnt from issues that occur within this piece but overall I am very proud.
I was very lucky to have an amazingly talented team around me both in front of and behind of the camera leading the film to great success in the SRC 2017 Oscars which Acting Up was nominated for;
Best Supporting Actor (Dylan Ward - Andy Willis)
Best Supporting Actress (Shannon Milligan  - Jen Palmer) - Which she WON 
Best Make-Up (Amber J. Razak)
Best Screenplay
And Best Picture
If you could take a minute...or 23 to watch the finished piece and possibly leave some feedback that'd be greatly appreciated!
Thank you all for making this such an amazing experience!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Industry Interview #31 - John Anderson

John Anderson has kindly taken some time to answer a few questions about working within the industry.
John is a very talented actor, working on television shows such as MacGyver, Being Mary Jane, and Tyler Perry's Too Close to Home. 
As well as this, John has also worked on a variety of films including Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is known for his various roles for Marvel films including - Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 

Interview

Can you please share some background about how you became interested in working within the industry?

Wasn't ever planning on this. Always been the class clown and jokester. Answered a cookie ad on Facebook one night about two years ago looking for tall, skinny ugly, guys with crooked teeth. I'm all those things so I answered it. Went to several auditions and after 5 months or so I find out its for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Who knew?

What advice would you give to performers trying to break into the acting industry?

Always keep a day job. Some actors say don't have a plan B but they are full of crap! You have to eat and I love what I do on sets but it doesn't pay that well usually. About 1% in my estimation of actors are supporting themselves acting and those who say they do have spouses or significant others to help support them financially. So until that 6 figure paycheck comes in...don't quit your day job! I don't work it very often these days but I still have one during the slow weeks and those happen frequently in this business.

What tips would you give to actors to follow while working on a production? 
John's character 'Ravager' from
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Stay alert. Always be mindful of others on set. Don't bother principal actors on set. Generally I don't speak to them unless they engage me in conversations, they are working to. Never ask for autographs or photos it will certainly get you fired (unless they offer it to you). Be courteous, humble, and always be the hardest working man in the room.

When looking at your impressive resume, one role I wanted to speak about was ‘Ravager’ from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Can you talk about how you came to work on the production and how you have become a regular for Marvel?

I acted professionally and kept my mouth shut about productions until they were released. Which is the biggest part. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on these things and supply thousands of people with jobs, leaked info about movies or TV can cost them thousands of dollars and nobody wants anything spoiled before the movie. My rule of thumb is I don't even acknowledge the production exists until its released on TV or theatre. It never happened. Nope. Don't know of this film in which you speak? Marvel? Is this a movie of some sort?

Can you talk us through an average day on-set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and what it would take each time to transform you into your character?

Hurry up and wait.  Set life is typically very boring most of the time. You spend 2/3 of the day waiting for lighting and smoke and rehearsals etc. Take a book or a magazine. Make friends or play cards. Quietly! Average big budget films can cost over a hundred grand an hour or more to film. There's no time to horse around so be ready to go when they need you and again stay alert at all times. I made some amazing friends on sets. I see most of them working on other sets and made a weird little film family with other background and crew members. You never know when you'll run into them again down the road going back to the polite and humble part. Average day for me on Guardians was show up at 2 am for makeup which took a few hours then to wardrobe then breakfast. Then move to a holding area for instructions on the scenes that day and finally the waiting game. Again "hurry up and wait!" A lot of down time in a 12-15 hour day. Don't get me wrong its still more fun than flipping burgers and it was the best time of my life. I highly recommend it.

Can you please talk a little about working alongside director James Gunn? 

James Gunn is a genius. The little bits of interaction I had with him I could tell he was a great guy and a pleasure to be around. Getting direction from a guy of his ability and stature was an honour and I learned a lot from watching him work.

John in full make-up as 'Ravager' at
San Diego Comic alongside a fellow
Ravager and director James Gunn.
As part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 cast you attended San Diego Comic Con. Can you talk a little about this experience and how it was for you? 

SDCC was a strange experience. Had no idea I'd get to be apart of it. I was done on the film for weeks and had moved on when I got the call. I thought they were joking or someone was trying to hose me with a joke. Turns out they weren't. Ha! This usually doesn't happen with background actors so again it was an honour to be picked to go with them to the show. I'm a big comic nerd so I was in orbit the whole time, not to mention nervous as hell because I didn't want to screw up. It was a great time though. I always said you couldn't get me to go to that show unless you paid me an chauffeured me around...and then they did haha! Careful what you wish for. Too many people there nothing against the con but its a week long madhouse. The crowd going insane when the ravagers came in through the croud was intense. It was the only time I understood what rock stars feel like at those big shows. It was bonkers. If it never happens again I'll always remember that night. So very blessed to be apart of it.

Do you have any interesting or funny stories from your time on the productions you've worked on?

Lots of stories but most are to long to type. Some good some funny. The key here is learning something about the business every time I go to work. Makes you a more valuable player and a better actor for sure. Production doesn't let anything go unnoticed and they know everybody on that set. EVERYBODY! and again you never know when you'll cross paths with these people somewhere down the line on a different production so stay on your toes and be grateful you're there. Mind your manners and have a great time!

Have you got any projects or convention appearances coming up you can share?

Lots of con appearances coming up. Cant talk about things I'm working on as they have people constantly listening and watching. They will find out if you leak info or say something you shouldn't be talking about and they are damn good at it. I've seen it happen to actors many, many times. If you cant keep a secret this is not the business for you. If you wanna keep working keep your mouth shut. Nobody likes a snitch anyway. I get to do some really dope stuff and I don't even tell my own mother about it. Not worth it. I take pride in what I get to do. It may not be a starring role but I can appreciate being able to do these things and I don't ever wanna stop. Acting is my drug of choice and I don't want to get cut off . I'm having the time of my life and have found where I belong in life. An entertainer.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

Hope that helps you out. I leave you with this quote I live by. "Be safe, stay humble, and always be the hardest worker in the room."



Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Industry Interview #30 - Rory Healy

Rory Healy has kindly taken some time to answer a few questions about working within the industry.
Rory is a very talented actor, working on television shows with some of his best known roles being 'Agent' from Stranger Things season 1 & 2 and 'Psycho in Group Session' from Constantine. 
As well as this, Rory has also worked on a variety of films with some of his best known roles including 'Monster' from Goosebumps and his various roles for Marvel films including Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 

Interview

Can you please share some background about how you became interested in working within the industry?

Always living for the joke and being spontaneous, I started doing plays in the 5th grade and even being only 10 years of age, I was exposed to a lot of comedians growing up in Upstate NY. Performance was always swimming around my head or coming up with some gag to make people laugh. After high school, started doing a little stand up, local plays and taking theatre classes classes at SUNY at Albany and doing plays there. Invaluable lessons and inspiration gathered while schooling.

What advice would you give to performers trying to break into the acting industry?

I believe with any art form or medium, learning the history of that medium. No sense of history cuts out such a wide range of development  influences every artist can benefit or be influenced by or just learn a new technique .
Another bit if advice - be early and pay attention. The meter's running and wasting time is a budget killer.
Relaxation is another one of those universal "arty" things that is so important oi finding you base get neutral and let it flow..
Remember that TV/film plays big and overacting is the symptom of lacking discipline and stillness.

Rory's character 'Monster' from
Goosebumps
What tips would you give to actors to follow while working on a production?

Whether it's speaking or non-speaking, create your off-screen character's life and all the particulars that would shape his life.

If you can, in wardrobe get in front of a mirror to know what you look like as you travels in this space(set).

When looking at your impressive resume, one role I wanted to speak about was ‘Monster’ in Goosebumps. Can you talk us through an average day on-set and what it would take each time to transform you into your character? 

After getting my head cast with Steve Prouty and Andre, it was a little while before filming, had fittings for wardrobe and lenses(never used), we finally made it to the picture test. Worked briefly with choreographer. This was the first time in full makeup and wardrobe.

When we filmed, my process was to get a T-shirt on and then eat dinner, then makeup trailer, where for the next 3 hrs I was transformed into The Monster #13 and back to wardrobe where pants shoes,shirt ascot and jacket got added to the makeup.

I did alot of stretching waiting for darkness to set in. We filmed several  nights and some days over an etended period of time. I also did quite a bit of research on Nosferatu and Goosebumps "Vampire Breath" injecting Romanian and German phrases in my Omni-speak. So fun and made the character a bit more mysterious and creepy.

Could you please talk a little about what it was like working alongside Jack Black? 

A true pro and very quick witted with great physical comedy skills. Jack is very intense about having fun and always being on his toes. What I enjoyed about what I saw on set and what ended up in the film was not very many Jack-isms and worked on his sinister "R L"
Rory in full make-up as 'Monster'
at San Diego Comic Con 2014

As part of the Goosebumps cast you attended San Diego Comic Con, the largest Comic Con in the world. Can you talk a little about what your trip entailed and how the experience was for you? 

Spectacular and odd all at once.
We were in the Hilton, not at the convention centre and while the panel was part of SDCC, we
had no access or badge allowing us into SDCC. No souvenirs to buy on the streets or in stores. The organizers know how to keep demand up and keep people wanting more.

We definitely wowed the crowd when all 17 or 18 monsters walked on stage and surrounded Jack, director.  Letterman and Slappy (who directed us to 'get Jack and haul him off stage').
Being the first day of SDCC and going on early was great planning 'cuz the fans had not seen much up to this point. We returned 2 floors away after the panel to have lunch where before taking a bite, the Alien, Professor Shock, me and Jack got shuttled to the Hard Rock Hotel to do a junket of interviews with ET, Entertainment Weekly and a couple others and watch JB field the same questions and still keep it funny and interesting. When we got on the freight elevator at Hilton, the greatest surprise occurred. On the elevator, in a wheelchair was William Shatner coming from the Lefend Series Panel and Jack gets photographed putting Shatner's phone # in his phone. Precious.

Flew back early the next morning and the whole trip was 2 days and dreamlike.

Another example of an impressive series of credits to your resume was your work with Marvel on both Ant-Man and Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2. Can you talk about how you came to work on Ant-Man and how you have become a regular for Marvel? 

The Marvel projects were very special.

"Ant-Man" was my first time working for New Life Casting after 2 years trying to get on with them. Chosen as an 'Investor' the time on set with Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily and Corey Stohl was as good as one could imagine as their comfort level increased the more days we all worked together. I did work on Guardians 2 as a Ravager and got to be part of 4 scenes with 4 different sets. Magnificent set builders and honoured to be part of these blockbusters. That was the last Marvel I did. Spidey "Homecoming" not many roles my age and "Black Panther" had fewer Caucasian roles. That's OK, they're filming "the Avengers" next 2 flicks here.

Rory's character 'Agent' from
Stranger Things.
Your final role I wanted to touch upon was your character from Stranger Things. When working on the show did you ever expect it to become the phenomena it did? 

Stranger Things was predicted to be a hit before it's release as expressed in the trades. The return of Winona Ryder was an eye grabber and I think the kids popularity surprised many.
A proud moment was winning "Ensemble cast award for a TV show. Very rewarding and flattered to be asked to return for season 2. 
I've been lucky enough to wind up in hit productions that are popular to many binge watcher's and superhero/fantasy/horror fans. A little luck and determination goes a long way.

Do you have any interesting or funny stories from your time on the productions you've worked on? 

It doesn't take much on set to bring laughs, but I thought having dinner with full monster makeup on "Goosebumps" was unique and funny in it's own way.

We spent more time in makeup/wardrobe than we did as ourselves and a bit out of the ordinary. Just the way I like it and every pun, joke or bard was explored.

Have you got any projects or convention appearances coming up you can share?

I appreciate your interest in some past performances and projects I've been involved in and hope this gives you a little insight into my world.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Industry Interview #29 - Casey Wagner

Casey Wagner has kindly taken some time to answer a few questions about working within the industry.
Casey is a very talented actor, working on many productions with some of his best known roles being a recurring Savior from The Walking Dead and 3D Printer Guy from Office Christmas Party.
As well as this, Casey has also written & directed a variety of independent films including: Made Equal, Diary of a Hitman 1 & 2 and Bullseye B##ches!!!!

Can you please share some background about how you became interested in working within the industry?

As far back as I can remember, I've always taken pride in being able to entertain an audience, not necessarily be the life of the party, but to be that person that people say "Yeah, it was good, but that one guy, he was something else." Plus I was fascinated with behind the scenes stories of my favorite films and shows. Learning the trials, tribulations, and the often creative solutions they came up with in order to get this thing to the screen. And I've been fortunate that when ever my interest in the field peaked, the stars always seemed to align in my favor.

What advice would you give to performers trying to break into the acting industry?

Enjoy the ride and check your ego at the door, I've seen far too many promising talents get that one little taste of fame, suddenly think they're spoiled Hollywood royalty, and get themselves utterly blacklisted because no one has the patience to deal with that nonsense.

This business is a revolving door, anyone can be replaced and no one is untouchable. Be professional and humble. The fruits of your labor will reflect that.

BTS photograph from Casey's film
Bullseye B##ches!!!! 
What traits/skills would you say were most important in performing for film and TV?

Be open-minded and dedicated. There are going to be long and tiring hours on set, but you have to maintain the same energy throughout.

And the second fastest way to kill your career is to stand up and say "That doesn't work for me, brother." And then not have an idea of what to do different. Maybe you don't want to perform the scene as intended for moral or religious reasons, or your just afraid it will negatively impact your image (even though it's all pretend) But when you object, you hold up production and threaten the shooting schedule. And as I said before, anyone can be replaced. So don't be afraid to try something new, or at the very least, work with the crew to tweak the scene so it retains the intention but is more comfortable for you to perform.

What tips would you give to actors to follow while working on a production?

Know your character, don't just read the lines or actions, understand why they're saying and doing these things. Use that understanding to make the role you're own, and be memorable but don't distract from the scene.

Most directors love input from their actors, but despise when the try to hijack to scene for their selfish benefit.

Casey's character '3D Printer Guy'
from Office Christmas Party
When looking at your impressive career, one interesting role I wanted to talk about was your part in Office Christmas Party. Can you talk about the casting process you went through for the role?

Well, at first it was very by the numbers, the casting company put out their typical email "We're doing this movie now, send us your info if you want in." Then just before shooting began, there was a second email, offering increased pay for folks willing to... put their goods on display. Well I don't have much shame to begin with, and I think true test of an actor is a willingness to go outside your comfort zone, plus i like getting more money. So I said "Hell Yeah!"

When we got to set, the Casting Director (A sweet woman by the name of Tammy Smith) took us one at a time into the bathroom to get full body production photos that left nothing to the imagination so the directors would know what they had to work with. I'd known Tammy for a couple of years by then so I maybe had a little too much fun with the situation and might have left her more embarrassed than I was supposed to be. By now I think it's safe to say I made the cut.

During Office Christmas Party you had your first ‘nude scene’ – Can you talk to us about the experience of shooting these kinds of scenes and the atmosphere on-set? 

It was different to say the least. Imagine you, a buddy, and two gals who were a legit lesbian couple that you met that day, walking into a room filled with film crew, a couple of day players (Actors who get a single day's work) and several background actors, and then the director says "alright guys, clothes off!" At that point, it can be really awkward or you can shrug and dedicate yourself to having fun with it... I chose the latter. We had people on standby to give us bathrobes between takes. But mine was extra thick it was hot as crap, so after a while I just decided "I don't need it, everybody here knows the secret by now." So I can't vouch for everyone involved, but I had fun. As for the part with the 3D printer, they had actually had another guy do that scene, but after a couple of takes, they stepped him out and put me in. I did one take and the director said that was all he needed. I figured they just wanted some variety to choose from, but it wasn't until the DVD came out that I learned I was put in because the director of photography needed someone bigger...
And that kind of became the scene the movie is known for, in fact before IMDb took down their message boards, there was actually a debate over whether or not I used a prosthetic. I didn't.
Then following weeks of its release led to many friends saying "nice butt" or "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've seen your junk." But it's all been positive praise for having the guts to do that.

If I had any regrets it's that I didn't get credited for it and they cut out the payoff, we had filmed a scene where the printer actually exploded and sent 3D printed whatnot's flying into the party, giving folks some unique props to play with. Plus one of the girls in there with me, who has since become a good friend was a little miffed that they dubbed in an atrocious laugh that sounded nothing like her in the extended cut.

Casey's character 'Savior' in
The Walking Dead
Another impressive role is your work on The Walking Dead as a Savior, appearing in pivotal moments such as the execution of Abraham and Glenn as well as Negan's first visit to Alexandria. Can you talk about the atmosphere on-set during these intense scenes? 

If you saw the episodes, you already have a good idea of the atmosphere on set. I mainly just remember freezing my butt off, we filmed during the coldest recorded nights of the year. And Alexandria was freaking hot. There was no middle ground when it came to temperatures on those shoots.

With the Saviors some seem to follow Negan out of choice and genuine desire/respect, whereas others seem to want to escape his lead and are instead forced into his clan, like Dwight. Where do you feel your character would fall on this spectrum and how do you believe he ended up one of the Saviors?

That's a question for the writers, they could decide to keep around until series finale or kill me off in the next episode. I'd be content either way.

That being said I did scribble down a little backstory to help me performance-wise. Let's just say past failures and necessity were major factors.

Do you have any interesting or funny stories from your time on the productions you've worked on?

Way to many, some standouts would be on Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I was talking to my friend and Michael Rooker came up to give us advice on how to properly scratch our crotches.

Anthony Mackie joking with us constantly on Captain America: Civil War, which also where we encountered the recently cast Tom Holland, we were in line for lunch and he just appeared behind us so we were like "Holy crap it's Spider-Man." We offered to let him skip ahead of the line but he said "I've been in my trailer watching movies all day, you guys have been working. Go on ahead." In my eyes he could do no wrong after that.

Your talents also extend behind the camera with several short films you have written and directed including; Made Equal, Diary of a Hitman 1 & 2 and Bullseye B##ches!!!! Can you talk about how your experience as an actor has helped you with the writing and directing of your own projects?

I believe the best directors are the ones who started as actors, you have a better understanding of what the folks in front of the camera have to deal with, and that goes a long way toward informing your direction, so well as helping to write dialog. Every actor has at least one horror story of a script with the kind of dialog that makes them wonder if the writer's ever had a conversation in their lives.

Casey's character Bullseye from
Bullseye B##ches!!!! 
Can you talk about some of the influences and research that went into writing Bullseye B##ches and how writing to already established characters differs to characters you create yourself?

Bullseye was one of those spur of the moment deals that just rapidly came together. I'm a life long Marvel Comics guy, so that's always been an influence. Anyway I was originally cast as a goon in a Deadpool fan film but unforeseen circumstances with the lead actor, who was also the director, led to filming being suspended for several months. During that down time, I figured why not do my own comic book fan film? Plus my friend, who was like the big sister I never had, was pregnant at the time and thus not in high demand for film shoots, so I wanted to give her something. My first instinct was to do the Punisher, I love the character and happened to have the outfit. But I found that character was over saturated with fan films, most of them pretty awful, and there was no way I could top the one Tom Jane did a couple years prior. On my favorites list, after Punisher comes Daredevil and that was my eureka moment, I'm already bald, and if i swap the skull shirt with a tank top, I got Bullseye! He was actually not too hard to get into, I'd been reading the character for years and saw him as a man with no remorse and enjoys his job way to much. I normally play really stoic, psychotic, or comedic everyman, so this gave me an opportunity to combine all of those. And it's still my best received work at this point.

And once we were done filming, the Deadpool film was about to start up again, in the books, deadpool and bullseye are best buds so I passed along a suggestion to the director who loved it and added an additional scene for Bullseye to appear. And that led to a guest appearance on Eric Green's uncanny X-men Webseries as well as a short film about Domino. So I guess I did a good job with the portrayal.

Have you got any projects or convention appearances coming up you can share?

I'm currently working on a film called dark wasteland, a post apocalyptic action film being headed by a father/son duo.
Exploring possibilities for what my own next film will be.
And while I can't give details at this time, I can say I'm involved in a major production that is the epedemy of childhood dream realized.

I don't really have anything planned when it comes to conventions but if anyone's reading this, wants to book me, and my schedule allows it. Let's do it.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!