It’s been a while, and what a while. Life has been pretty crazy. Most recently I’ve been singing and dancing my ass off. Yes, I’m in a musical revue, and it’s pretty wild. It’s been fun because honestly I haven’t sang/danced in front of an audience for quite some time – it’s pretty damn fun. The show is called “Chicken Fried Diner,” it’s up in Chattsworth at The Big Oak Theater. Great group of people, helluva lot of fun.
I’ve finally been able to get out on some more auditions which is terrific, but it’s never enough. It’s pretty crazy to pursue this dream and I always have to remember what a teacher told me once: your job as an actor isn’t to act, it’s to audition. Bottom line? MORE AUDITIONS REQUIRED. Can’t wait!!!
Going to be going into production on a couple of short films soon as well, in the joyous preproduction process which is always fun. Working on a horror anthology – three stories in the same universe – more details to follow. Check out my blog LAHorror.com for more! And don’t forget to “like” and “follow“!!! Best all!!!
Well, it’s crunch time. It’s been a year in Los Angeles and while progress has been made, there’s a hell of a lot more to be done. A few weeks back I got to perform under the direction of John Badham, director of “Saturday Night Fever” among many other classic films. It was incredibly humbling and a terrific experience. He was lecturing a group of about 20 filmmakers on how to direct actors, and myself and another actress were his test subjects – essentially taking four scenes from some classic films and putting them up on their feet from start to finish. It was a real treat to spend a day working with someone like Badham, he’s hilarious and an unbelievable director.
On my personal quest to claw into the horror business, I’m pleased to be meeting with Mike Mendez today to do some ADR work on his new film “Mega Spider.” I’m a fan of several of his films and I’m really looking forward to meeting him – hopefully my scream will be heard in the final cut of the film but we’ll see – honestly it’s just awesome to be able to help out on a horror project any way that I can.
Speaking of horror, I’ll be attending Shriekfest with my website LAHorror.com to check out Frank Merle‘s film “The Employer.” I’m really looking forward to finally seeing the movie as well as doing some other super clutch networking with other horror fanatics. Can’t wait, stay tuned to LAHorror for more!
On a personal note, it was my birthday yesterday and it was pretty excellent. I went home last week for a last minute birthday surprise from my family – tickets to the Packers/Bears game. It was excellent and the Packers absolutely dominated, thank God. Megan got me a slew of excellent birthday presents as well, including Human Centipede 2 dvd, some delicious coffee and Portos. Being 26 is crazy, and it’s only day one.
I’m on a mad blitz to find an agency – sending 25 letters/headshots today. Wish me luck!!
I just had the best two weeks of my life. ”Operation BBB” was a smashing success. I didn’t think that I could survive a week long bachelor party, but here I am today. My groomsmen were true G’s and it was awesome to be back in the midwest for a couple of days. On top of that, after over a year of planning Megan and I finally tied the knot! I can’t believe that I married this girl…and thank God I did before she came to her senses…….
A while back I did some PA/background work for a flick called “Bikini Spring Break.” I was super stoked to pick up a copy of it today at Amoeba and watched it this afternoon with Megan. The movie is awesome. Sure, it’s a little hokey at times, but the cast is hysterical and the movie absolutely lives up to it’s title. It’s a small step, but I was very stoked to see my name in the credits and my face, though it brief, on the screen. Check out the trailer here and check it out!
Also, be sure to check out the trailer for “The Los Box,” this was the last film I acted in Chicago and it looks very far out and cool. I’m super excited to see the final product. I love far out movies and the soundtrack sounds brilliant. I’ll keep you posted on the final project when I see it, in the meantime, watch this!
One last little plug, check out my website LAHorror.com. It’s awesome and much to my delight has been getting a good amount of traffic for two months now. If you’re a horror movie fan, go show some of these indie-artists some love because they’ve got some sick stuff going on and it’s pretty excellent.
Well, back to the grind. Bring on the auditions, I’m ready to jump back in this ring and fight.
Yikes! What’s up world?? Life has been crazy but awesome recently so I thought I’d fill you all in on a couple of things!! Here…we…go!
-Got an e-mail from an agency which is sweet…time will tell if they sign me or not but it’s a step in the right direction regardless! Super excited that they want to meet and really looking forward to showing them what I can do. Crossing my fingers, breaking my legs.
-A couple months ago I launched my side project LAHorror.com which has been the main reason I’ve been so busy! It’s awesome, essentially we’ve been meeting/interviewing/reviewing horror artists in the LA area and showcasing their work. We’ve got great daily traffic and I’ve been able to meet some amazing people. Horror has always been my love and passion and this is a terrific way to network/weave my way in the horror circle in LA. I went to a film premiere for this BAD ASS flick called “Bloody Wedding,” have been invited to several others as well as been invited on set to a few horror films that are in production. CHECK IT OUT if you haven’t already, the people we have showcased so far are amazing artists and deserve some love for sure.
-Cut off all of my hair which is awesome. Now I’m all short haired and stuff. It’s bomb.
-I’m getting married next month. Yes, married. Holy cow, when I proposed to Megan a year ago I thought the wedding would never arrive, and now it’s right around the corner. Thankfully, Megan is the coolest, sweetest, most beautiful and awesome girl that I could ever even dream of meeting, so I’m super excited. She’s planned this whole wedding from across the country which shows her bad-assitude and I’m easily the luckiest dude on the planet. I can’t WAIT to marry this girl!! AHHHH!!!!
-We’re moving this week too, to an awesome place in Burbank, walking distance from downtown Burbank which is BEAUTIFUL. I can’t wait. We are also thinking about getting a puppy after the wedding…and when I say thinking about it, I actually mean doing it. Megan just doesn’t know it yet…but my mind is made up.
-With moving, LAHorror.com and the wedding, getting acting gigs has been a little lacking recently but I’m hoping that after all of this life happens I’ll be able to devote more time to auditioning. Ain’t no way I’m done with this town yet, gonna light it up soon.
-The Packers are gonna be so good this season. I can’t wait.
-Oh, and I almost forgot! Please watch my Mitt Romney Endorsement video!! He needs all the help he can get this presidential election so I’ve gone ahead and written him a rap! (NSFW, it’s all in good fun so don’t get offended!)
Tim Tebow is on the Jets now. Yes, the two most polarizing figures currently in the NFL on the same team. Rex Ryan coaching Tim Tebow. Could I be any more excited for next season? I think not. I’ve always been a fan of Rex and always been a fan of Tebow. The Jets have only solidified their spot in my heart as second favorite NFL team…behind the Green and Gold of course.
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of working as a PA/extra with Jared Cohn on his new film Bikini Spring Break. While I was only able to be on set for three of the ten shooting days, it was still an absolute blast. The cast and crew were extremely cool and I can’t wait to see the final product, I was also hyped to talk to Jared about his prior film Born Bad, which I throughly enjoyed. It was an awesome experience however driving their massive green van down a mountain in the middle of the night was slightly terrifying.
Megan and I celebrated our two year anniversary yesterday with thai food/movie. I love her to death and I can’t wait for many many more years to come! She’s a true champion and I love the hell out of that girl.
I am building a horror website focusing on LA horror artists and indie films. While building a website may be hard work, I am really looking forward to being able have a forum to discuss, meet and give exposure to LA horror artists. More to come as this develops, the site should be up and running by mid-week…
“WhatItIs” (Episode 4) is on a brief hiatus however the story will continue in another ridiculous episode coming soon…if you haven’t checked out “WhatItIs” yet, click on the original films section of this site and watch them!
My Rick Santorum rap is slowly but surely climbing in views…without a doubt the biggest pile of crap I have ever filmed and put out there but hey, whatever, right?
I grew up acting. I started in the third grade doing “Odyssey of the Mind,” a team building competition that focused partly on creative problem solving and partly on performance given certain guidelines and themes. Third grade was the first year that you could “audition” for the team, and I was eager to get on board. After I was assigned my group (that also included fourth and fifth graders, oh my!) we began writing our “tall tale”, which was of course the theme that year, and we were off. Months of work later we had created our hero, or heroine I should say, Kiki the Hula Dancer. I played Kiki, which involved a full hand made bikini and a grass skirt. Did I mention the make-up too?
So after this terrific team building, writing, creating experience it is time to perform. Our first performance is naturally in front of our school. Yes, the whole grade school in the auditorium. I can remember the first moment I stepped on stage, a little third grader in full drag, oh and a wig, to perform our incredible tall tale. The auditorium erupted in laughter. Yes, it was slightly traumatizing for me however as they say, the show must go on. Being a performer you will always put yourself at risk for criticism, constructive or not. It comes with the territory. Needless to say, after I hula’d my ass off and saved the day the place was silent. A couple fourth and fifth graders even told me nice job by the end of it. Yes, I was a true American Hero, a tall tale legend in a flowered green bikini. I sometimes wonder the psychological impacts that that has had on me…
I digress. The point of this isn’t to dwell on Kiki and her awesome hula powers. The point of this is to talk about wins, achieving wins and saving the day. The kind of wins that earn you the respect of your peers and give you the confidence to truck on. Los Angeles is a brutal city. Even during High School I learned this. Naturally at the end of every year there would be a handful of theater folk that would go off to college to study acting, eventually end up in Los Angeles or New York, and more times than not you’d hear of them coming right back home, defeated. It’s a fact of life that not everyone will succeed. Some of them didn’t even get any wins to be proud of. That’s the breaks.
I’ve been out here for nearly half a year now. The wins have been few and far between, but they have been there. Now, when I talk about wins I’m not talking about landing a sweet movie role in a Universal picture or getting a spot on a national TV commercial, I’m talking about the little things. The things that happen during your day that remind you why you are out here, why you are busting your ass to try to stay out here, and why you don’t want to go home. Those are the wins that you need to keep going. Now, can I hope for those big roles and would they be totally awesome? Of course, and in due time I hope they come, but I’ll take what I can get right now to keep the coal in the engine.
My dear friend Matt Olson and I went out for a beer about a month before I moved out here and he gave me some terrific advice, advice that I still think about today. He told me that if you (as an artist) compare your own success to the success of others, you will never be satisfied. There is always going to be someone out there that is landing the roles you audition for, getting the call back that you were banking on, getting the job that you wanted so badly. That’s inevitable. However, if you judge your own success on the merit of the effort you put into it, it will give you a much more accurate depiction of how well you are doing. I can tell you ten people that I know personally that are tearing this city up, really doing some amazing work and getting some terrific recognition, and that’s amazing. I’m so happy for them because at the end of the day, these are my friends and if I’m going to compare myself to them it will only make me look petty. There could be 101 reasons why they are landing more roles than me, getting better jobs or yadda yadda and not one of those reasons has anything to to with my effort or my work at all. So what’s the point in comparing? Let me tell you this world, I’m getting my wins, I’m getting the things that are keeping me going and they are starting to come for me easier and more often. Los Angeles may be winning the battle, but this war is far from over.
I just booked a PA job on an Asylum film. I’ve met some amazing people there and will be working with them this week. I couldn’t be happier. Megan has two job interviews this week. Stoked for her. Working as a 2nd AD on a web series this weekend. Awesome. My Rick Santorum “endorsement” is at 1,600 views. Haha. ”WhatItIs” episode 4&5 in pre-production, going to be filmed soon. Sexy. Found out there is a Burger King less than a mile away from our apartment. Score. It’s the little wins that add up. It’s the little wins that keep you going.
Megan and I have been writing and producing a web series called “WhatItIs.” If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend watching it…it is getting ridiculous and the story keeps getting wilder and more extreme. We are planning for a 6-8 episode series. The story follows an aspiring young actor living in Los Angeles who meets his gay, crack addicted future self. Now everything he does to try to ensure his future doesn’t end up this way ultimately drives him closer to it. Will he defeat his destiny? Or is fate written in stone? You’ll find out by the end of the series, I assure you. Here is episode three:
The idea came to me originally as a skit idea. I was nervous to pitch it to Megan (my fiancee) because of the subject matter, but luckily she is amazing and supports my creativity regardless of how…interesting…it can get. We filmed the first episode by ourselves on a rinky dinky handycam just for the hell of it. However after I watched the first episode, I realized that this story could easily continue, and continue it has. We are writing our fourth episode now and plan on filming a new one every two weeks until we finish our story. Trust me, there will be a lot more twists and turns as each episode is posted.
The great thing about a project like “WhatItIs” for someone like Megan and I is that it is relatively simple and fun to film but it also opens us up to meet new creative minds in this city. For instance, we met Stephen Camargo (who directed Episode 3) through an ad posted seeking help on the project. He was a terrific guy to work with and I now can add a new awesome director/camera guy to my growing list of contacts in Los Angeles. Each episode will get bigger and bigger thus requiring more crew, talent and creative minds to help get each produced. It’s been a great little experiment that is very fun to pull off. And if you are revolted and don’t like it at all, well, too bad. It is what it is.
In some unrelated news, I have worked on two sets in the last week with terrific results. I was 1st AD on a web series pilot called “All Washed Up,” written and directed by actor Max Faugno. It was a blast to work with him and his team in creating a hilarious and heart warming show. He was kind enough to invite me back to the next two episodes that will be filming in the next month or so so I can’t wait to get it off the ground. I have no doubt that the show will be terrific and can’t wait to work with these awesome dudes/dudettes again. I will obviously post the episode here when it is completed.
I was also fortunate enough to have an audition with writer/director/producer Damion Black for his new web series “VampZ.” He liked my audition and invited me to shoot a test run of one of the scenes with one of his actresses. Damion is a very cool and confident fellow and I sincerely hope that I get to work with him more, I love the energy he exudes and he seems very focused on his work. More on “VampZ” and upcoming Damion Black projects soon.
It has now been four months in Los Angeles. People always would tell me that time goes much faster here, but I never really realized it until now. While four months doesn’t seem like a lot, I feel like I just arrived here yesterday. That means either one of two things: I haven’t been busy enough or I’ve been way too busy. I tend to think the latter.
A friend of mine posted an article on line the other day about why you should never become an actor. Specifically, 5 things that actors “don’t know” when they decide to attempt success in this crazy business. An interesting piece, sure, but all of the deterrents that they were talking about were pretty obvious from my position. I studied acting in college, trust me, I had four+ solid years of people telling me not to become an actor. I know how ridiculous this career path is, but yet I still find myself everyday trying to figure out a way to get cast, get seen, get even one opportunity to show everyone how much I truly want success. When I say success, I don’t even mean fame or fortune or anything petty like that, I mean just to be on set. To be working. To be doing what I studied, to essentially do what every other recent college graduate is trying to do: Get a job in their field.
One of the biggest lessons that I ever learned in college happened before I ever even took my first class. It was during freshman orientation at Columbia College Chicago, Sheldon Patinkin (a 2nd city legend and head of our theater department) was speaking to all of the incoming Freshman theater majors and he said this (I paraphrase):
“Everyone in here, take a look to the person to your left. Now take a look at the person to your right. The two people that you just looked at will never make a living as an actor.”
Yes, he said this to about 300 incoming students who all have just signed up for classes to become professional actors. And do I blame him? Absolutely not. But when I heard that I knew that he was wrong. I would make it, I will make it or I will die trying. I know that sounds dramatic (haha) but it’s true. This isn’t a job that you can just say, “well I’ll give it until I’m 30″ or “I’ll do it until I have kids” or anything like that. Perseverance is the only thing that matters, and this profession is designed to weed out the fakers, the posers and the wannabes…and sometimes it’s harsh when it does it.
Have there been bumps in the road? Sure, more than I’d like of course but every time I get a call-back but don’t land the part, every time I bomb an audition or every time someone I know gets the part I was going for it makes me hungrier. Am I bummed at times? Sure, but that’s the same as trying to get a job anywhere. There will always be someone more qualified than you or that has that specific thing that an employer is looking for, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t taking the right steps. That doesn’t mean that you should be deterred or get frustrated or throw in the towel. Yes, I have a day job. Yes, I make money to pay my bills. But I know where I want to be and I intend on getting there eventually.
About two weeks before I moved out here I had an eye-opening experience. In the same day, I ran into two college classmates within the span of a couple of hours. I ran into my old buddy B first, I had done many scenes with him and taken classes with him throughout college and knew him moderately well. I asked him how he was doing, how post life college was going and if he had any luck with getting gigs, etc. He told me essentially that he was “taking a break” from acting and that he had found a stable job and that acting was more of a hobby to him at that point. I was surprised, because I saw how hungry he was in school, but suddenly when there are no more classes and no more college productions the flame must have faded away…
The same day I ran into a classmate J, a young lady I worked with a lot and knew pretty well. I asked her the same questions, how’s life, any parts etc. She said (in other words) ”You know what Hunter, things are great. I’ve had three auditions this week, I’ve got a call back tomorrow, I’m a waiting tables to pay the rent but I feel like something is really gonna happen for me soon.” She was so excited, she was so thrilled to just have the opportunity to audition. She still had it in her, and she still does. This profession weeds people out, but goddamn it I’m going to prove that person to the left of me and to the right of me that I could do it. I will succeed work and work on set professionally, whether that happens tomorrow or when I’m 65, I don’t ever plan on giving up.
Let me get off my soap box and tell you a couple of things that are going on in my life. I had a meeting with Monica Monroe Productions (www.MonicaMonroe.com) last week and I will hopefully be an active contributor to their films. What position currently I am not sure, but I am hoping to get some more experience behind the camera in a AD or Producing stand point. They seem like a tight and motivated group and I can’t wait to work with them, more on that as things develop.
I received a “special thanks” credit in the latest www.Zoochosis.com film which I’m pretty hyped about. I did some work on the song that plays in the film, while they didn’t use the tracks I recorded I’m still very hyped that I got to network with them and I really hope that I can work with them in the future at any capacity. Their stuff is hilarious, check it out for sure. The video link is here:
Keep up the good work Hollywood, much love to you and everyone else. Also, in case I forget here’s my Superbowl prediction: