Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
I’m Albert or my friends/family call me Al (just like the iconic Paul Simon song). I am an actor, singer, and writer based in LA.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I think the most unique qualities about me is bringing a strong sense of truthf and groundedness to all the characters I play on screen. In addition to my professional acting training, I bring real life skills to tell stories on-screen. Among those skills like being an engineer (which I trained in my college years), I am also an airplane pilot, scuba diver, motorcycle driver, can captain motorized boats, sustainable green building inspector, and many more skills that can bring realism to such characters.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
So I’m a 90s kid and I grew up watching screen legends like Jim Carrey and Robin Williams perform. I just loved their work and tried to recreate their scenes for my (very patient) family. But no one around me then knew the paths to becoming an actor, other than “you have to get discovered”, “be lucky” or some combination of both. I had neither money nor any actionable paths to be an actor, and since my dad had an engineering career marked out pretty clearly, I followed his footsteps.
Two college degrees and over 15 years into a steady career, the COVID19 pandemic hit and coupled with some personal demons which reared their ugly heads, it was the impetus for me to get some mental health help and reevaluate my life, so to speak. To make a long story short of my road back with therapy, I uncovered some of the long buried dreams I have and with the advent of technology giving access to resources and every training on the planet going remote, I decided to give this acting career a real shot. I enrolled in my first acting classes in March 2021, got headshots, filled out casting profiles, and submitted for open calls needing actors. A month later, I auditioned and got cast in my very first role for a short film called “Don’t Get Comfortable” by an amazing non-profit organization called Kids In The Spotlight. I loved the creativity and collaboration of being on set and working with professional cast and crew to bring a story on pages to reality. To put the icing on this cake, our film won Best Feature that year.
About 19 months since my first class, I finished over 35 speaking/principal roles in various projects and still hungry to bring characters to life from the page. And I feel I am just getting started.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
The biggest challenge is not the rejection from roles you didn’t get…it’s the dead-like radio silence because filmmakers don’t have time to tell everyone who submitted and audition they didn’t get the part.
Being a working actor/actress is the most competitive, unstable, and highly prone-to-burnout industry to enter. It really is a long game over years (not months) you must play to be successful so it is important to not only physically, mentally, and financially support yourself through all of it, but also to ENJOY the journey!
There’s a wonderful quote from a motivational speaker named Denis Waitley who said: “It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” If you can have fun as you’re learning new things, making mistakes then correcting them, hearing a lot more “no’s” than “yes’s” for auditions, and enjoy the perseverance of it all, it’ll be an adventure you’ll never forget.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
The top 3 people I’d love to meet are actors Tony Leung, Christian Bale, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (rest his soul). All these three are tremendous actors who disappear fearlessly into their characters and talk about their processes with such love for the craft yet keep their private lives safe.
Photos by Sheldon Botler Photography
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