Actor Plus Screenplay Writer Greg Tally And His Mental Health Advocacy

Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?

Hi, I’m Greg Tally. I’m a character actor with a fondness for playing jerks and villains in the movies, mostly low budget indie horror flicks. Since 2019, I’ve appeared in dozens of movies, which are just now debuting in theaters, on Blu-Ray and streaming.

I write screenplays and audio plays, and founded a comedy troupe, The Damn Dirty Drive-In. The DDD-I is an online community theater that produces original comedies airing on our podcast of the same name. I’ve directed a few shorts, and produced both audio plays and feature length films.

When I’m not on set, my family owns and operates a natural history-themed dinosaur hotel, and a wine country inn in the middle of a vineyard. Winos and dinos, that’s the family business model. I split my time between Los Angeles and the Colorado Rockies.

What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?

I’ve been told I have a quick wit and a snappy comeback, and my dad joke game is on point. I can normally put people at ease and get them laughing. I wear loud Hawaiian shirts most days of the year, even when I’m in Colorado shoveling snow.

I’ve got classic Aries traits of leading and organizing people to work together for a common cause. And in a genuinely cynical, often backbiting industry, I try to help people, especially my circle of friends. No one should try to climb to the mountain top alone. It’s cold and lonely up there at the summit without your friends. I enjoy helping folks. And baked into these acts of service is a general philosophy of “enlightened self-interest.” The idea of if you’re winning, I’m winning too.

I am a tireless advocate and hype man for those closest to me. And my friends out of altruism and general like are doing the same for me, and reciprocating. We’ve been a force to be reckoned with, and collectively accomplished a great deal in a very short period of time.

Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.

The moment I knew I was a movie actor occurred on the sci-fi rom com, “Under Three Moons.” I was playing a seedy rancher and rich small town bully named Rudy. And I wanted to buy the pretty city girl’s estranged father’s estate, and tear it all down and frack it. Classic villain stuff. Rudy was what our director Kody Newton described as “softly evil.” We were filming in rural Idaho at a farm house. I was in the carport in holding just being myself, laughing and joking with other actors.

I wasn’t overly worried because I’d been told I had several hours to get into character. But Kody popped in and said, “Greg you’re on in fifteen minutes.” Utter panic. I leapt out of my camp chair and threw on my costume and reported to hair and makeup. And makeup artist Amanda Woods put on death metal and shooed everyone out of her department and locked the doors. I had a very short period of time, about ten minutes, to become Rudy, to slip into the skin of another human being very different from me, and inhabit such a damaged, unpleasant space. But like any good makeup artist, Amanda got me there. I reported to set, and it was this epic Western backdrop of buttes along the Snake River. It was the Golden Hour, on towards sun set, and the sweet light was any cinematographer’s dream.

While the crew did final set up, I asked Kody if I could do a little scene exploration. He said absolutely. So on about three hours of sleep, and little more than a Five Hour Energy drink and adrenaline, I improvised a scene with the actress playing the City Girl, with that panoramic John Ford backdrop. And all my imposter syndrome and doubt melted away. It was a beautiful act of becoming that I will cherish always.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?

I’m neurodivergent, with ADHD, bipolar and complex trauma. You know… an artist! We’re all crazy hot messes to some degree. Joking aside, I struggled for years with my PTSD and Bipolar two. I felt such a crushing weight of shame at the stigma of it. What was wrong with me? Why was I different? What if I have another manic episode and it happens again? Fortunately, I am successfully medicated with a regimen that keeps me stable, and I am armed with a set of self-care rituals gained from years of therapy and trial and error.

I want to de-stigmatize these disabilities to help others. People will tell me with great emotion in their voices that they are bipolar one or bipolar two. And I’ll tell them, “Really? Me too! Welcome to Club Bee Pee. We are the best club, with our own private roller coaster and absolutely the best meds on a table in the back. It’s great to meet a fellow Bee Pee-er! Now come on in and take off your coat.” And by joking about it and openly admitting to it without humiliation, you can see people feel visibly relieved.

People should be able to talk about their mental health with the same lack of shame and openness that they would feel discussing a broken leg.

Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?

From time to time, an actor will give a performance where they are utterly transformed into another human being. I think I’d love to sit down over soup or something with Hilary Swank for “Boys Don’t Cry,” Austin Butler for “Elvis,” and Daniel Day-Lewis for an oldie but a goodie, “My Left Foot.”

We don’t even have to talk. We can just sit there in companionable silence, slurping our minestrone. It’s like hanging out with three mountain climbers who summited Everest. They did the meticulous, often arduous work of transforming into another human being, and inhabiting and feeling what that person feels. It’s awe inspiring. And soup worthy.

Drop your social media links.

Soundcloud and iTunes: The Damn Dirty Drive-In

Vianka Petines
Vianka Petines
Vianka is a bright, savvy, and capable marketing publicist. She brings a breath of fresh air with a very sound approach to strategy and campaign development. We're excited to have her on the team :)


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