Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
Haha. Wow. No, I’m absolutely not afraid of heights. As short as I may be I spend my days swinging through the trees (laughs). First off I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to chat. I’m Andrew R. McCallister. I am a character Actor. I am very proud of my work and my life’s purpose.
Everyone gets energy from something…that something that makes them feel alive. On the flip side, there are things in this world that drain the energy from each one of us. I’m so ecstatic I’ve found my place, my energy!
I get to come alive on screen. Acting has helped me find my worth. And once again I feel most alive on set and in character. I’m the luckiest man in the world. I get to live out my passion, and I get to wear so many different hats. Who doesn’t like hats?
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I believe what makes me unique is my approach to character. There are100 different acting techniques, maybe more. And none of them are wrong. They all have merit and can get you there. For me, however, I spend most of my time, finding my character’s voice, both literally and figuratively. I have to have a full understanding of his story, fears, likes, loves, passions, and mannerisms. Once I know this thoroughly (overall objective, world view, etc…), the scene objectives easliy become clear. From there, there all questions are answered. My technique is some parts Method, some parts Meisner, some parts Chubbuck. At the end of the day the choices I make in pre-development, make so that waht spills out in character is ABSOLUTELY REAL. I’m very directable, but my preparation is incomparable.
As exhausting a process as it is sometimes, I’m fully aware of all my senses and at the same time oblivious to all things ME, so much so that it’s like watching it for the first time when I see the playback.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I’ve heard a lot of folks in different firelds talk about the moment they knew, and it usually starts before they begin the journey. not for me.
I had been acting already. I started out as a voice actor, and I loved it. But I didn’t know that this is what I was born to do until after I had acted on screen for a while. I was always super critical of myself. So much so it was hard to watch. I hated seeing myself act. Before I had ever taken a class I knew I had a natural gift but I just couldn’t watch myself. I would agonize over choices, inflection, my movements, my doings, response time, etc… SO Embarassing!
One time I saw some outtakes when I was forced to watch myself. That’s when it changed for me. while the camera was rolling I could see myself acting. BUT prior to me realizing the camera was on as we rehearsed I saw something magical. I saw myself calm, at ease in my own skin, and without judgment. It was beautiful. I couldn’t tell I was acting at all. I was just being. LIterally couldn’t believe it was me. THAT is when I knew. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. I must have watched it 1,000 times. HOW DO I DUPLICATE THAT?!? What did it feel like? Where did I go in my mind?
I began to study. I had to chase that feeling much like the first high on drugs. I needed it. After training, studying, and finding that center, I now just know when I’m there, and 100% when I’m not there yet. That outtake was the best take. It changed my take on life.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
The biggest challenge for me was fear. That’s a big one. I’m naturally a perfectionist, and I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life as well. When I truly focus on something in front of me, I dig deep until I know it through and through.
However, when my anxiety gets the best of me, I procrastinate or run away. It caused me so much pain, loss, and regret in life. Even in acting, I’ve missed out on some great opportunities because of this, early on. Eventually, I was able to see that I was worth it and that I’m actually good at this. Probably better at this than anything else, when I let go.
It was a battle between 2 people inside me. On one hand, I am animated and charismatic. On the other, stifled, awkward feeling, and angry as I stutter and stammer through my vulnerabilities. Thank GOD I found that all of this is useful. I just had to channel it.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
The top three people I’d like to meet would be, Quentin Tarantino, Denzel Washington, and Yeezie himself, Kanye West. I really enjoy Quentin’s story writing ability. His characters are so colorful and full of life. It would be an honor to play a role in one of his movies (provided he makes one more). I would love to study under Denzel. He’s Brilliant, simply brilliant. And Kanye is such a visionary, and I respect his hustle, drive, and ability to see opportunities outside the box. If you start making films SIR… whoooohooo.
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ImDb: Andrew R. McCallister
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