Michael Reiser «A career in Hollywood is brutal»

Michael Reiser grew up in the theatre and to be an actor was his dream. Now he is in Hollywood and with persistence he is trying to build his career.

Tell me about yourself.

I like to call myself a modern day villager, because well, that’s what I am. I grew up in a village in Missouri called Farley with a population of 249. I come from a decent sized family of 7, I being the 2nd oldest child (and first middle child). Well I grew up in the theatre (pretty sure that’s because my parents met doing choir, so entertainment to some degree runs in the family) and at the age of 9 did my first show. After that I was pretty much hooked. I was in an after school program called Christian Youth Theatre from the age of 12-18, during which I performed in over 30 shows with them. I decided to pursue the craft professionally so I got a BFA in Acting from Missouri State University, worked professionally in Kansas City for a year, and then moved to LA to follow the work. When I’m not acting I like to play games (both board and video), grab a beer with friends, convince myself to workout, then convince myself to eat a large pizza by myself.

You are an actor because…

In high school someone gave me the advice, ” You spend over 100,000 hours working in your career, so try to make it something you love.” I couldn’t really imaging doing anything besides performing for that much time, so I went with that. I love making people feel things (preferably good things) and getting reactions out of people, and that’s why I love acting. I get to tell stories and talk about things that make people laugh, cry, smile, question, ponder- they react! People watch movies, theatre or tv because they want to watch themselves. They relate to characters and see their own secrets and flaws happen on that screen, and it can be a form of therapy for them. At the same time, it can be an escape from the real world, both for the audience and the actor. As an actor, my duty is to tell a story. It’s not always easy- a lot of the time, actors have to go to ugly places, either physical, mental, emotional, or a combination of the three. But there is something freeing about the vulnerability needed to put your soul into a performance where you aren’t a pretty version of yourself. To put on the ugliness, that is paired with the fragile beauty of humanity; it is exhausting, but refreshing at the same time.

I believe that God gave me this passion and talent, and I want to honor him by pursuing it. He’s allowed me to work with and train under amazing people who have challenged me, lifted me up, and helped me grow. So why stop now?

How difficult is a career to Hollywood?

A career in Hollywood is brutal, to be blunt. If someone wants to become an actor so they can be famous, I suggest you find a different way to find fame, because it’s rare here in Hollywood. Also if you can’t stand getting rejected on a daily business, you may find it tough. As an example, I submitted to audition (note that I’m saying I basically auditioned for the chance to audition) for over 360 projects this past year. I got 14 actual auditions, and I booked 2 of them. So you have to be persistent and understand the business you are going into, and having the right mentality is critical for your survival as an actor. Define what you consider to be “successful” and aim towards that. Personally, I will consider myself successful when I can support myself solely on my acting. How do I do that? Persistence and the right mentality. Success in this town is a marathon, not a sprint. So get ready to build that stamina.

I like to consider my “job” as an actor is to audition, and my vacation is when I actually book a gig. But I take it a step further. I recommend that all my fellow actors treat auditions with the same respect, preparation, and passion as they would a film or theatre performance. Why? Because out of the 3000 people submitted, you are one of the 27 that get the opportunity to act that day. Live it up! No matter how brief, that time in an audition is yours; so don’t waste it! For two minutes that day, you get to do what you love, and that’s amazing.

Your future plans are…

My future plans are to continue refining my craft and skills, continue to enjoy my life, and continue to create. I will do what I love every day, with people that I love. I have started producing content for Instagram which people can watch if they follow me (@michael_reiser), and I’m so excited to keep making more content! I’m part of an improv troupe here in LA as well, so I am excited to keep being silly with my team.

Πόσο δύσκολη είναι μια καριέρα στο Χόλιγουντ;

Μια καριέρα στο Χόλιγουντ είναι βάναυση, για να είμαι σαφής. Αν κάποιος θέλει να γίνει ηθοποιός για να γίνει διάσημος, του προτείνω να βρει έναν διαφορετικό τρόπο για να οδηγηθεί στην φήμη, επειδή είναι σπάνιο εδώ στο Χόλιγουντ. Επίσης, αν δεν αντέχεις την απόρριψη σε καθημερίνη βάση, ίσως να είναι δύσκολο. Για παράδειγμα, υπέβαλα την συμμετοχή μου σε ακροάσεις για περισσότερα από 360 πρότζεκτ το περασμένο έτος. Με δέχτηκαν σε 14 πραγματικές ακροάσεις και πήρα τις 2 από αυτές. Έτσι, πρέπει να είσαι επίμονος και να κατανοείς το που έχεις μπλέξει. Η σωστή νοοτροπία είναι κρίσιμη για την επιβίωσή σου ως ηθοποιός. Καθορίστε τι θεωρείτε ως “επιτυχημένο” και στοχεύστε σε αυτό. Προσωπικά, θα θεωρήσω τον εαυτό μου επιτυχημένο όταν μπορώ να στηρίξω τον εαυτό μου οικονομικά, αποκλειστικά με την δουλειά μου ως ηθοποιός. Πως το κάνω αυτό? Αντοχή και σωστή νοοτροπία. Η επιτυχία σε αυτή την πόλη είναι ένας μαραθώνιος, όχι ένα σπριντ. Έτσι ετοιμαστείτε να “χτίσετε” αυτή την αντοχή.

Προτείνω σε όλους τους συναδέλφους μου να πηγαίνουν σε μια οντισιόν με τον ίδιο σεβασμό, προετοιμασία και πάθος όπως θα πήγαιναν στο γύρισμα για μια ταινία ή στις πρόβες για μια θεατρική παράσταση. Γιατί; Επειδή από τους 3000 που υπέβαλαν συμμετοχή, είστε ένας από τους 27 που έχουν την ευκαιρία να συμμέτεχουν εκείνη την ημέρα. Ανεξάρτητα από το πόσο σύντομο είναι, η ώρα σε μια ακρόαση είναι δική σας. Ζήστε την! Για δύο λεπτά εκείνη την ημέρα, μπορείτε να κάνετε ότι αγαπάτε και αυτό είναι εκπληκτικό.

Τα μελλοντικά σου σχέδια είναι …

Τα μελλοντικά μου σχέδια είναι να συνεχίσω να βελτιώνω τις δεξιότητές μου και την δουλειά μου, να συνεχίζω να απολαμβάνω τη ζωή μου και να συνεχίζω να δημιουργώ. Θα κάνω ότι αγαπώ κάθε μέρα, με ανθρώπους που αγαπώ. Έχω αρχίσει να παράγω περιεχόμενο για το Instagram, το οποίο οι άνθρωποι μπορούν να παρακολουθήσουν αν με ακολουθούν (@michael_reiser), και είμαι τόσο ενθουσιασμένος γι’αυτό!




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