ME- Acting is more than a career to me. It’s a way of life. Acting gives me a chance to express myself through a different character’s personality and mannerisms. I was always the “class clown” growing up in school. I think I spent more time in the Principal’s office than in class, but that’s how I was. I enjoyed making people laugh. An actor’s job is to have an affect on an audience and to make them feel something when they leave the theater or when the television shows ends.
ED- Tell us of your years at Monmouth University and your studies at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
ME- First off, I was always an athlete and excelled in all sports from elementary school through high school. I played football at Monmouth University and loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, I got into some trouble outside of the school when I was 19 years old, which knocked me off my athletic track at the school. Acting put me on a positive path and gave me something to concentrate on. All of my training and the foundation of my craft were built at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. The American Academy supplied me with the most intense and professional training that an actor can receive. The Academy has some wonderful teachers, but the one who I will always remember and still use the tools she gave me is Jackie Bartone. Jackie Bartone is a teacher who lives and breaths the acting craft and she passes it onto her students. She never let me settle for less than perfection and believed honesty is the actor’s “bench mark.”
ED- How did you land your first role as an actor?
ME- Perseverance is the most important virtue an actor must posses. Perseverance is essential in this business because without it, you will not reach the goals you set out for yourself. With perseverance in mind, I landed my first acting role in an independent feature titled “Diamond In Da’ Ruff.’ I found out about the audition through the magazine called Backstage. This is a magazine that includes casting calls, agent/manager mailing addresses, and auditions throughout the country. I mailed in my headshot and resume to the casting director and luckily got called in for an audition. There were about 10 guys that read for the role of “Jay”, which I was auditioning for. After auditioning three times I thought I had lost out on the part. Then, finally I received a call from the producer to come read for the director and booked the role. I knew giving up was not an option and had a fantastic experience working on the film.
ED- Tell us of your role on the daytime series ‘All My Children’.
ME- Working on ‘All My Children’ was my first taste of Daytime television. I met ‘All My Children’ Casting Director, Bob Lambert at a three-week Daytime workshop at The Actors Connection in New York City. Through this workshop, Bob taught me the ins and outs of Daytime and really goes above and beyond for his students. Bob, being an actor himself really knows what an actor goes through and prepares the actor to step into Daytime knowing exactly what to expect. After my screen test with Bob, which occurs at the conclusion of the third week, Bob and I talked about my career paths and goals. I expressed to him how much I loved working with him and learned through his workshop. About a week later, Bob called me and offered me a recurring “under-five” role of an Orderly, which I proudly accepted.
ED- You were also on another well know television series ‘One Life to Live’. Can you tell us a bit about your role there?
ME- On ‘One Life to Live’ I was involved in a key story line. I arrested one of the main well know villains on the show. I received a lot of “buzz” online from writers and fans from my work, which helped me network and become more visible in the Soap Opera world. It was truly an honor to work on ‘One Life to Live’ and I booked the role on the show from meeting and auditioning with an amazing and talented Victoria Visgilio, who is the Casting Director of the show.
ME- I believe an actor should be well-versed in all aspects. Theatre is an element that truly tests the actor and his or her skills. I believe a solid and successful actor should experience the stage sometime in their career moving forward. I completed the national theatre tour with The Periwinkle Theatre Company out of New York City, which I did twice. It was a wonderful opportunity and I often find myself going back to theatre to refine my acting tools.
ED- What is your latest venture with acting? I heard that you have recently tried out for a new part.
ME- I recently auditioned for a role in an upcoming feature being filmed in the city of Philadelphia. The role I auditioned for “Jack” is a polite and well-mannered concierge at a wealthy hotel in Philadelphia. I really enjoy the character and hope to work on the film. My sister lives in Philadelphia and it would be great to spend time with her while filming.
ED- Tell us about your goals for the future.
ME- My goals for the future are to be a more consistent working actor in film and television. I am passionate about my work and want to show the world what I can do and how much I have to offer them.
ED- What other film and screen genres would you consider having parts in?
ME- I would love the opportunity to expand my experience as an actor. Comedy is something that I always love to do and would jump into that genre in a “heartbeat.”
ED- With acting firmly established as you now and future goal, what advice would you give to students presently considering taking this path in life?
ME- Hard work. Have a serious attitude. You really should be actively studying your technique. Not everyone has the natural ability to act in front of a camera or audience, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to be a good actor. Never giving up and be persistent in this business will keep you going. Acting is something I treasure and everyday I wake up thinking to myself, “What can I do today to make a positive difference in my career.”
ED- Michael, it has been a pleasure and an honor for The Eerie Digest to do this interview with you. We wish you much luck and firmly ask that you let us know of your future ventures. Our readers will definitely enjoy hearing more about you!
ME- I appreciate the recognition and it was such an honor to be interviewed for The Eerie Digest. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide for you. Thanks again and please feel free to contact me at anytime. Also, you can view my acting reel on my personal website “michael-emery.com.”