Paul Colthart – Indie Actor. He was born and raised (mostly) in Colorado. Moved to California in 2004 to pursue a career in acting. After a ten-year hiatus, he is back and ready to work.
– Dani: Okay Paul, Introduce yourself, your background. How did you get into the industry? why did you become an actor?
– Paul: umm, I actually got into it, after a failed stint as a baseball player. In high school, all I wanted to do is to play baseball and then once I got off from the school I realized that wasn’t going to happen. So I got picked up by a modeling agency, and then it went from there. I’ve always had a love for the movies, but I never really thought myself as an actor when I was younger. Once I started modeling, I’ve realized, you know modeling is boring as hell, and instead, I choose some acting classes with modeling group.
– D: So, basically, you didn’t really choose to be an actor, the fact that modeling agency chose you, truly made you discover your real interests. Then, automatically you have started enjoying the process of acting, being inside of the screen more and more. Does that sound right?
– P: Yeah, it was more along the lines of I took some acting classes with the modeling agency, even though they didn’t really do any acting. But I took some classes and I like that, hell a lot more than just standing in front of the camera and looking pretty.
– D: Nice. Have you ever attended film school or taken any specialized acting classes other than classes by the modeling agency?
– P: Yes. A lot more years ago, when I first started, I’ve taken some commercial classes, and I’ve taken some really small classes, that modeling agency offered which were kind of lame, didn’t really do anything.
– D: When was this?
– P: This was 2002. It was a while ago. it was a while ago…
– D: So, your very first role was in 2002?
– P: No, I didn’t get any acting in 2002 actually. My first acting role was in 2004 after I’ve moved out here, to California. So, I was doing modeling in Colorado. I’ve auditioned or I’ve submitted my application on “LA Casting” to pilot for Soap Opera, that was my first actual role.
– D: And what did you learn from your first role? What kind of experience did you receive?
– P: Oh, it was terrible. It went on for 2 years, trying to film this pilot for the Soap Opera, and it kind of soured my taste on acting in general, which is why I quit for 10 years. And now I’m back because I realized that one was just mismanaged.
– D: Le’ts breakdown this a little. You took 10 years break?
– P: I did.
– D: And at some point, you realized acting is something you truly enjoy and decided to get back to it?
– Yep. Only 10 years off, only a decade (laughing).
– D: Nice, what is 10 years for the actors…
– P: I know right.
– D: Okay, what is the responsibility of the actor to the audience? Do you consider such things when you’re acting?
– P: Absolutely. You have a responsibility to tell the story, the way the director is trying to tell the story. So the director has a vision, and you as an actor, need to do whatever it takes to deliver your character the way the director wants you to deliver. That said, you just need to be the character, completely disappeared in it. The audience, shouldn’t see you as an actor if they see you as an actor you are not doing your job.
– D: Got it. Do you have any specific techniques when it comes to acting? How do you prepare yourself to play your role?
– P: Doing research is important. If you are playing something you are not very familiar with, like a bio-scientist, or archeologist, I’m going to have to actually study what that entails. Obviously, I’m not going to be an expert, but I have to at least, be able to pass off that I’m doing that certain thing.
So research is important, and then, during the filming, what I do is I pretend to be that character, as they will be filming, you know what I mean? Like if they were actors. Say I’m an archaeologist, I’m that archeologist, but I’m also an actor. Because I still need to hit my spot. I still need to be in character spot. I can be completely oblivious of where I am, cuz then filmmaking process doesn’t work. That’s what I do, but every actor has their own uniqueness when it comes to preparation and techniques.
– D: Let me get back a little bit. And ask this popular/annoying question, do you think the actors should ever attend any film school or they can learn everything by just practicing?
– P: I don’t think they have to attend film schools, but I think it’s beneficial. In terms of learning how everything works. You need to know the importance of hitting your mark, you need to know the importance of where the cameras set up. If you walking out of the frame, it’s going to look terrible, you gotta know these stuff. More knowledge you gain is better. It’s never going to hurt you.
– D: That make sense. And how do you go about choosing a role?
– P: At this point, I get offered one, and I take it.
– D: Okay, so you take whatever people offer you? Absolutely no limitation how far you’d go?
– P: Well yeah, I don’t do any porn or anything.
– D: Oh, you don’t? (inside joke)
– P: No no no. Close on, preferably right now.
– D: What’s your favorite genre?
– P: I mainly enjoy comedy a lot more. But I feel more challenged when I do dramatic roles.
– D: What is your definition of a good actor?
– P: I think a good actor disappears on screen. The good actor makes you not realize who they are, especially like big famous ones, like Di Caprio or whatever, you forget he is Leonardo Di Caprio when you are watching his movies.
– D: What’s the best advice you could give someone new to the acting? Any specific places you can recommend so they can enhance their acting skills and grow portfolio?
– P: First of all, don’t give up. Don’t give up for 10 years (laughing). And really, just anywhere you can practice acting. If you wanna do short films with your buddy, go for it, that is practice. Wanna do community theater, that’s practice. Anywhere you can actual practice. Just do that. Rather than sitting around. And I have to mention, any small role, any small practice you take, is actually much better than taking the acting classes. Also, in my opinion, the real practice helps you enhance your skills more than anything. As long as you are in front of the camera, and you are playing some character. Just keep doing it.
– D: Let’s talk about your visions, goals and next steps you are aiming to make. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
– P: 5 or 10 years? As an actor is really hard to put like an ideal goal in mind. Because there are so many changes in the industry, all I can do is keep doing work and getting my face out there. Really is up to getting into the right spot in the right time. Nothing I can do, rather than keep pushing, and trying to get more and more plays out there. Just much stuff I throw at the wall and see what sticks.
– D: Okay, I see. Just keep pushing, no specific plan, I like that. And this is our traditional questions. Question number one, name three all-time favorite films. And name one filmmaker who has influenced you the most.
– P: “Fight Club”, “The Patriot” and “Serendipity“. And the filmmaker I was most influenced by is Kevin Smith. He is the first one that I was young enough to witness starting from nothing to the level where he is right now. What he has done is absolutely fascinating.
– D: Alright, Paul, thank you very much for your time. Good luck on your acting journey.
– P: No problem. It was fun.
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