Monthly Archives: June 2013

Lights, Camera, Action


   What have I been up to lately?  Well, I am glad you asked cause in truth there are very good reasons for me not blogging as prolifically as I would like to.
First of all, my computer finally shit the bed on me and stopped working  a few weeks back.  That has really cut down on my computer time, buuut evidently I still do have some computer access (I am typing this blog) so I can’t really put all the blame there.
Then there has been some minor writer’s block too; sometimes I’ll have a post that has been mostly written for weeks but I have trouble getting back into and finishing it up (see Life Imitating Art).
But mostly my prolonged absence from the game is an indirect result of attending the Art-o-Con on May 5th (2013).  My friend, author Harrison Wheeler had a booth there promoting his book, Jester’s Incognito and while there we happened to sit in on a presentation put on by the horror movie magazine, Fangoria.  This presentation had 5 panelists from the Canadian horror film industry, three of which were producer, Kelly Michael Stewart, director Torin Langen, and actor, Robert Nolan.
I found myself getting very involved in the presentation asking many questions and becoming genuinely fascinated with the thriving Canadian film industry.  I guess I had always figured there was some stuff going on in Canada film-wise but I figured it was spill-over from the US industry, i.e. Hollywood filming up here cause it was cheaper.  But to hear these guys talk I was starting to realize that not only was stuff getting made here (and really, they were only talking about horror and not even delving into other genres) but that it was GOOD stuff too.
After the presentation I made ended up speaking briefly with a couple of the panelists but I had more of an in-depth conversation with Robert Nolan.  He was a cool guy whose story I kind of admired.  Rather than groom himself to be an actor his whole life, he was someone who had done a lot of living before deciding to take on acting as a profession.  In his estimation, this had actually helped him by giving him a broader experiential base when plying his trade.
I confessed to him that pursuing acting as a career was something of a pipe dream of mine but it seemed like kind of an overwhelming undertaking because I always assumed I would have to pack up and move to Los Angeles.  Seeing how the industry was thriving here in Canada I was beginning to see how much more accessible the dream was.
Robert was great and really supportive; he gave me some pointers about what I needed to bring to the table to be considered by directors and sent me some links I could use to look for auditions.  We even became Facebook buddies lol.  Most importantly, he said that if I thought I was an actor, I was, end of story.
So basically for the past month and a half now I have been going hard trying to break into this world that has always seemed so foreign and mysterious to me.  I have had some early success  (which I owe mostly to being well prepared for auditions.  Thanks Robert!) but enough rejection to keep me humble.  It’s a lot of fun too; I find myself in Toronto for much of the week, living on my sister’s couch and whipping around the city to wherever the auditions are at.
Now if you are a follower of my blog, you may remember that I quit my full-time job back in February because I hated it and I was miserable there.  I literally used to stay up late on Sunday nights (and drink) because the thought of going to bed and resigning myself to Monday morning and a new workweek was too depressing.
Now, in a weird sort of twist I actually look forward to Monday mornings as, after the lull of Saturday and Sunday, Monday is typically the time that the casting websites tend to get flooded with new job postings and casting calls.
Today is sort of an appropriate day for me to update you guys in my film-related pursuits too, because if all goes according to plan, my first production should go up online today (finger’s crossed).  It’s the pilot for a web-series whose working title was “What NOT to do in a Zombie Apocalypse” but the director had talked of changing the title so who knows exactly what it will go up as.  I guess I will see in a few hours.
In the series, I play Stan, the leader of the survivors of  the recent Zombie Apocalypse.

The Survivors (from L to R): Jeremy, Darcy, Lydia, Chris and Stan (Moi)

   What attracted me to this project (aside from being an up and coming actor who will take what he can get lol) is that it had a pretty clever script.  And the way the director, Ana Sani, described the style she was going for (fast, witty dialogue and quick cuts) made it seem like it would be pretty damn good.  Having seen only the first draft of the episode, I’m pretty happy with it and I think we have set ourselves up for some good character conflicts down the road.

Me killing a zombie and being filmed doing it.

   There are a few other projects I am in contention for which hopefully pan out, and even in cases where I haven’t gotten a certain part I feel like I have made a good impression so we’ll see how it goes.  Anyhow, its Monday morning and I have yet to check the new audition postings.

-Andre Guantanamo

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