That Happy Accident
Acting can lead you down a twisted highway and you never know where you will end up: A crash on the side of the road or winning the grand prix. It’s always a coin toss, but you put your chips down on the table and you gamble.
I NEVER intended to play 3 roles in DRIVERLESS, it happened by accident, due to being locked up during Covid and having creative restlessness. The itch to act and produce as opposed to having another script gathering dust in the computer.
Chuck Pelletier and I wanted to follow-up our award-winning comedy short THAT’S OPPORTUNITY KNOCKING with a road movie meets office comedy titled DRIVERLESS. I loved the script that Chuck had written and jumped on board by encouraging him to start shooting the car scenes as tests shoots. We never intended to use the footage. I knew I was going to play Glen (the lead role) in the office scenes, but playing Randy (the redneck) and Woodrow (the quaker) was a happy accident. Chuck liked me in the roles, the footage looked great, so we kept it and I ended up playing multiple roles, something I’ve always wanted to do. Peter Sellers is one of my idols.
The gamble paid off as the film has won me Outstanding Comedy Performance and a Best Supporting Actor nomination. As a producer, I was happy because the film as a whole won awards and critical praise.
I teach acting students in “Awakening the Actor Within” to dig for their “Vein of Gold” and use that as a measuring stick to find roles and themes that resonate richly with them. The work in DRIVERLESS tapped into my favorite characters: a backwoods crazy womanizer, a religious zealot trying to recruit members to church and a lovable-loser, desk jockey. These are all people I’ve studied, read about and written “I remembers…” about. Themes of corporate greed, over-the-top cults and white trash are what I come alive around. I was lucky to have Chuck Pelletier who was my director at the helm telling me to go further, dig deeper and go the extra mile in my characters. The writing was rich and the characters felt real to me.
That to me is “Vein of Gold” acting!
Author of "Awakening the Actor Within"