MG-Thank you. It’s truly a pleasure to share this time with you. I started performing at a very young age. As the youngest of seven children it was natural to act out to get the attention of my parents and siblings. I would often do impressions of characters from film and television for them. They were my first audience, and my first fans. My first real “gig” was singing at the local Chuck e Cheese at the age of 7 years old. I remember the experience vividly. When I heard the audience clapping, that was all it took. The hook was in and there was no turning back. By 5th grade I was in my first theater production. By 7th grade I did more stage productions at school and was attending a professional film acting academy. I rode the bus there on the weekends and attended for a couple years at the now famous Bobby Ball film acting academy. I ‘graduated’ and had the opportunity to audition for Ms. Bobby Ball herself. This was quite a big deal for me. I was so nervous. After the audition she said, “You’re a very good actor Mario, but you’ll never get work with that pimple on your face.”. And that was all she had to say. I was dumbfounded, devastaded and dejected. But I never quit. It only helped form the first layers of callous that got me through all of the numerous let. downs that lay ahead of me in life and career. In high school I was an extra in “Bill and teds excellent adventure” and was a stand in for Keanu Reeves. I signed with my first talent agent and became president of the speech and drama club.
The eighties were a blast!
ED- What inspired you for this career?
MG-I’ve always been fascinated and intrigued by the art of storytelling. As a child, I watched a lot of t.v., thus fueling my imagination. I loved cartoons like Tom and Jerry, and Bugs bunny. And even though I was very young, I watched Sergio Leone westerns, war movies, The twillight zone, In search of, Alfred Hitchcock, The bionic man, and Saturday night live on t.v… Also, horror films like “Night of the living dead”, “The exorcist”, “The Omen”, etc. Were seen with my older siblings. And of course I can’t forget movies like Star Wars that blew my mind and ignited the creative side like a wildfire. ED- You were first recognized in the TV show, ‘Hey Dude’. Tell us about this show and the role that you played.
MG- Man, that was a long time ago. In the late eighties, early 90’s there were only two television series that I knew of being filmed in Tucson, Arizona. “The young riders” on ABC televison, and a show aired on Nickelodeon called “Hey Dude” about teens on a dude ranch. I drove out to Tucson a lot to audition for ‘The young riders”. The casting director wanted to cast me in something, but she also liked long hair on her guys so I never fit the look at the time unfortunately. So the people from “Hey dude” cast me as a guest star and I fit right in. I played a guy who was dating one of the lead actresses and the guys were jealous of me, and they got me to leave her alone eventually. Wow that would be an embarrassing clip to sit through now.
ED- In 2009 you went from a Family oriented show to an Action Film called ‘Brutal’. How was this transition for you in your career?
MG- I am a fan of all genres. I survive on controlled chaos and constant change..
ED- What happened during the years in between “Killing Time” and “The sweet science”?
MG- There obviously is a 15 plus year gap in my credits. During this time I took the best acting class you can take. Life! I lived a lot of life and some death.. But that’s another interview altogether for another day. The world truly is a stage. And I have a huge library catalogued in my mind.
ED- Tell us about “Brutal”. .
MG-“Brutal” was a short film directed by Brenton Covington. I played a slimey con man that dupes a couple out of their money and ends up with more than he bargained for.
MG-“The sweet science” was my splash back into film after my hiatus. It is a short film that was brilliantly written by the late Brock Brown. Everyone loves and misses him so much. He is a huge loss to the local indie community as a friend and writer/actor. It was directed by Joshua Provost. It’s about an up and coming boxer who is suddenly haunted by visions of his opponents during matches and looses bouts. Until he is visited by a mysterious physicist played by me. And turns his loosing streak around. It won many awards and swept the film festival we made it for called ‘The almost famous film festival..’ I also received an outstanding individual performance acting award for this piece.
ED- This year you portrayed the character Zach in the film ‘Being Nigel’. What is the theme behind this film and tell us about your role in it?
MG-“Being Nigel” was a fun comedy short that I did with Synthetic human pictures. It was co-directed by Charlie Steak and Mandie Smith. Its about these two guys. One who likes to impersonate people from other countries to win the affections of girls with his exotic accents. His friend is his wingman for the scharade. I play a douche bag who’s jealous of the guy with the fake accent game because he’s taking the ladies attention off of him. .
ED- You are currently in Post-production in the film ‘Suspicion’. can you give us a sneak preview on it ?
MG-In “Suspicion” is a feature film directed by David Dilley. A former mafia member dying of cancer unkowingly puts a college age friend who’s trying to help him in harms way with the mafia. I play the right hand man of the mafia boss. He is known as the Consigliere. He doesn’t have to get his hands dirty, but he can make some very bad things happen to people. They are just finishing the 2nd rough cut of the film, and the trailer will be out very soon on IMDB.
ED- You are also in another film that is in the works, “Crushed Velvet”, please tell us about this production.
MG-The very cool and unique feature. Film “Crushed Velvet” is also currently in post production, it’s directed by Brian Skiba. You can see the trailer, and get updates from www.crushedvelvetmovie.com. I play the husband of the main character in the film Dusty Velvet. He gets taken away forcefully into the military and Dusty has to enter a reality game show to win the money to buy him back.
ED- What project have you done recently?
MG- I produced a short film called “Face Fear” that is written and directed by Angel Ruiz. It’s a story about an obsessed detective going after a serial killer. After several years of chasing the killer, he finds that what he has come up against will change his life forever. We will be submitting this film to festivals in L.A. And around the country. So if you would like to see this pleaase in your festival, contact me.
ED- Mario, we have quite a few students of film and the arts from around the world that read our magazine. What encouragement can you share to help guide them in their careers?
MG-Every artist posseses a unique gift that cannot be completely duplicated. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to come to the realization that you are a one of a kind human, complex and beautiful, intelligent and discordant in your own way. This unique ability is what makes us as humans move forward in all arenas. As a professionally trained actor I’ve found that acting classes are fine, but living life is better. You can’t accurately and honestly reproduce that which you have never experienced. You would be trying to place yourself there, and when you do that, well, then your just acting. In front of the camera, I prefer to just ‘be’.
ED- Mario, we want to thank you for your time, and I am sure that our readers will be following your career. Please keep us informed of any future productions. We wish you good luck in all that you do, and hope that you will visit with us again!
MG- It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me here.