ED- The Eerie Digest recently attended the birthday party of Producer Carlos Roman, of Roman Pictures, just outside of Washington, DC. We had met a number of familiar faces along with many new acquaintances as well. New to us was actor Tom Lyle, an up and coming personality, and a ‘find’ for the Roman Pictures family of actors. Tom, we understand that you were an Army paratrooper early on. Can you tell us about this aspect of your life?
TL-I learned organization and discipline at an early age. Something I believe many young people need today. It was an eye opening experience and adventure for a young man. I grew up in a poor multi ethnic section of Baltimore, MD started working a newspaper route at age 8 (usually 12 required) so I was somewhat conditioned for the mental and physical demands. I loved the Army and thank them for helping me with college under and grad school.
ED- Some years ago you owned your own Health Club and was a physical fitness instructor. How has that helped you in your current career?
TL-Two of my many passions are physical fitness and acting, both of which I studied in college under and grad school. I have worked a variety of jobs and had many experiences all my life that help in one method of acting I use Lee Strassberg’s style. I owned the first 24 hour Club in Maryland, which was very successful income and people experience for me. In 20 plus years in the Health Club Business you meet and learn to communicate with a variety of people.
ED- What was your greatest influence in pursuing acting?
TL-A third grade teacher who performed in theatre, mostly musical encouraged me at an early age. She was a singer, dancer, actor and a wonderful teacher. I stared performing in school plays at an early age. The beginning of my love and passion for performing.
TL-At an early age I worked with teachers trained in theatre and later studied in College. Approximately six years ago I sold my Health Club, Wellness and Fitness Centers. I studied with some excellent acting teachers and coaches too many to list. I also traveled from the Washington, DC area to NYC often to study and perform. I also performed in a variety of indie film projects in the last six years in addition to all the review courses.
ED- You began pursuing with commercials, voice-overs, videos, and shorts. Please tell our readers about some of these venues.
TL-Over 100 projects regional and bit parts. I am still waiting for that big SAG National Commercial Lead I love to brag like many actors, but believe honesty is the best policy. I don’t list any BS on my IMBd or other resume websites. Everything is posted by Producers and Directors. I wish I could get them to list all projects. I know some actors who list extra work and make it look like principal. I have had some excellent paying commercials, print and voice overs mostly regional and too many to list. I have also performed many for experience (no pay) – LOL!
ED- You have also starred in a number of comedy roles on You Tube , and have done theater as well. Give us a glimpse of these productions and explain how they gave you further confidence in your chosen field.
TL-Joe you know you love to act when you perform Community Theatre, as well as indie films, which I have been doing since elementary school (theatre). I love theatre and comedy. My favorite play to perform is “The Rocky Horror Show Life”. Some of my You Tube are trailers and video clips for promotion.
ED- You also had roles in a number of films beginning in 2007, such as ‘Old Friends’, ‘The Ticket’, ‘First Target’, Dark Secret’, and ‘Interview with an Old Bounty Hunter, amongst others. Tell us all about these and how they honed your acting skills.
TL-I believe auditioning, performing a variety of character roles with different Directors is an excellent learning experience. Although I have worked on many student films all of these were with either film school grads or experienced film makers, except “Confessions of An Old Bounty Hunter” is a short I did as a possible feature, as are my video scene bits “Assassins for God” projects in the works and in my mind like a lot of my You Tube Bits.
ED- You performed in ‘30288’ and ‘the Reading’ as well. Please give our readers an insight into these projects and what they meant to you as an actor.
TL-Joe “The Reading” by JPNT Films Jimmy Traynor is in production. The indie short “30288” the first film by Jed Dwyer after graduating film school. I won The Indie Fest 2010 Award of Excellence for a lead actor (Tom Lyle as prisoner 30288). The film won an Indie Fest 2010 Award of Excellence for short film and also won two Wired Awards for editing and quality. I dedicated my performance in memory of the Holocaust and a dear old friend and survivor Saul who was like a father to me. A talented Director, cast and crew who made it all possible.
ED- You also starred in a number of films that earned you some high standing awards. Tell us about the productions ‘In Passing’, ‘Live and Die’, and ‘Second Chance’ and the awards that you received from them.
TL-“In Passing” by Adam Desaulindiers won a 2008 Accolade for student film I had the lead role (Shelby). For Jimmy Traynor’s Feature “Live and Die” I won the 2009 Indie Fest Award of Excellence for lead actor in a feature (Lee Thomas). A 2009 Accolade Award of Merit for lead actor in a feature indie. Special interest the first 40 minutes of the 75 minutes of “Live and Die” no written script all improv with the Directors instructions and outline. “Second Chance” also by JPNT films I won a 2010 Accolade for supporting actor (Rick). Once again the only way an actor wins an award is because of the excellent team work crew, cast and Director.
ED- Your latest venue consisted of several roles with Roman Pictures which included ‘Signal 2’ and ‘Time Refugees’. Give us a glimpse of these projects and your fellow actors on them.
TL-Okay I have been lucky enough to become a member of the Roman Pictures Group which consists of a professional movie making team of actors and film crew headed up by Carlos Etzio Roman – writter, Director and Producer. In “Signals 2” I play FBI Special Agent Pierce (presently filming). “Time Refugees” another Sci-Fi I play Grayson an older Space Age Warrior (filming in 2011).
TL-“Pappy’s Raiders” based on the book of true stories of the Vietnam War about a special team of 16 men SF Rangers and their experiences in Nam. Interesting I performed a lot of the same training. I have been cast in one of the leads as the present day Pappy. Now I am not that old, but one of the makeup experts Tracy Roman will make me look older (I wish I could look younger)! Filming scheduled for 2011.
ED-Tom, we have many students of the performing arts who read our magazine. What words of wisdom can you bestow upon them to reach their goals?
TL-Joe I could write a book and many excellent books have been written. If you want to become an actor to be rich and famous I am the wrong person. If you have the love and passion then I would recommend gaining as much life experience as possible. Look for good teachers who are also experienced film makers, Directors and/or actors if possible. Perform in Community Theatre, school plays, student and other indie films. Take college classes in drama and theatre. Watch and study movies with good actors and Directors. Attend plays and indie film screenings. I hope this helps and thank you for interviewing me.
ED- Tom, we want to thank you for this chance to interview you, and wish you luck in all that you do. Please promise to keep us informed of all your upcoming events so that we can keep our legions of readers up to date about your career.