A: I played the Tourette's Group Leader in the support group scene. I actually auditioned for the lead role of Brad Cohen, so I studied him and various other people with Tourette Syndrome. I also researched many books and literature on Tourette's, and a couple of years ago, while doing research for another film in which I played a character with schizophrenia, I met many people with Tourette's at conventions, so I pulled out my observations from those people and put together a series of tics of my own.
Q: What did you learn about the process of making a TV movie?
A: Making a TV movie is similar to a theatrical film, only the turnaround is usually much shorter, so the wait to see it from production to release is not as long and drawn out. Everything seems so much faster and before you know it, the movie has already aired.
Q: What did you enjoy most about the experience?
A: I enjoyed the research process and the chance to play a different kind of role. I've been told that I do my best when I play "extreme" characters and not just the "norm." I also enjoyed the cast and crew, especially getting to know the real Brad Cohen. He is such a phenomenal person and his story is so uplifting. Going to the premiere in Los Angeles was a great experience as well, as everyone was so generous and pleasant.
Q: What Shreveport-based projects have you worked on, and what advice would you share with local actors about getting work?
A: I've worked on several of the Shreveport-based films, including speaking roles in "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" and "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell." I've also worked on several independent films, many of which I have written, produced, and directed. Getting the part is not an easy task. It takes a lot of work to prepare for an audition and to make the character your own. If you want to be an actor, then you have to "be" an actor. You can't just say you are and not put any work into it. Take classes, study, research, and practice.
Q: How have you college acting and filmmaking experiences at Stephen F. Austin State University helped you prepare?
A: Earning my degree in film was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I had the opportunity to both act and make films on a weekly basis while in school, which only gave me more and more practice and exposure. I learned what I was doing wrong early, and had the chance to fix it. Getting ripped apart from your peers and instructors is vital to success as an artist, and many actors starting out jump right into it with nobody telling them what they are doing wrong. I'm proud that I was put in my place early, because constructive criticism opens your eyes.