I've lived with Myth, my first feature film, in one way or another since May, when I had my first audition at Shetler Studios for the lead role of Alex. Following a fairly casual callback in McCarren Park, almost three weeks of waiting, and the phone call from writer/director Brian DiLorenzo telling me I booked it, Myth quickly became my everything -- and with good reason: I had 14 days of shooting and roughly 70 out of 80+ pages of script ahead of me. An awesome yet tremendous responsibility. Calling this my first big shot in the industry was putting it lightly, and I knew well enough not to squander it.
Other than shooting a quick teaser for our Indiegogo in June, I had a good deal of downtime between the good news and our big week in August. So I did what any actor does: work on other projects, submit to breakdowns, audition, study the script, and just grind, grind, grind. That's the job. That's the life. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop thinking about Myth; the scope of this project and story was so huge, and as someone who came to the craft a little later than most, this really was a dream come true. There isn't any other way to put it.
But when Brian rolled up to my apartment in NYC in mid-August and drove me upstate to the cast's AirBnB -- my life crammed into a suitcase, my head swimming with so many fascinating characters, scenes, and lines -- I had no idea just how magical, challenging, and rewarding Myth would really be.
Our major shooting week (or "Hell Week," as production liked to call it) was right in the middle of a serious heat wave, but despite the inescapable sweat and mosquito bites, those seven days were the happiest I've ever been: personally, creatively, and everywhere in between. Everything I know about being a professional actor and what it takes to carry a lead role I learned on this film. Of course, you've gotta already have a degree of confidence coming in -- how else would you have gotten cast in the first place? But you really don't know what's expected of you and your artistry until you're on-set and the cameras are rolling and you've got a solid 12 hours of performance lined up every day for the foreseeable future. You don't know how your brain, body, and heart will react until you're there, in the thick of it. As my castmate Nicholas Tucci told me, "Filmmaking is problem solving," and as the lead, you've got a whole bunch of problems to solve.
Now that two months of sporadic, post-Hell-Week pickups are over and Myth is finally in the can and I'm officially wrapped on my biggest artistic endeavor to-date, I can safely come out and say it: I can do it. I can do this job, day in and day out. And I will do everything in my power, absolutely everything, to continue doing this job, to make this work my life's work. There are so many memories I hold dear, from living with my castmates and all the conversations we had long into the night, to the gorgeous, breathtaking cinematography so meticulously captured, to the incredible daily collaborations between cast and crew and family and friends that culminated in such a strong, sweeping story. And nothing could replace this. At the end of the day, all there is is the work, and I couldn't ask for anything more.
So thank you -- a million ultimately insufficient thank yous -- to everyone who made Myth a reality. I'm forever changed because of you, and all for the better. I can't wait to see how this extraordinary project lives on now that it's out of my hands.
And as one journey ends, another begins: my fellow former apprentices at the Barrow Group have recently taken the insane initiative of starting their own theater company (called the NOW Collective), and they've invited me on as a collaborator. That said, it's my immense and humbled pleasure to announce that I will performing with them this January in their inaugural show, titled Apartment Complex. It's going to be a night of new, hysterical, heartfelt short plays, and I am sincerely in awe of their vision, dedication, and drive.
Truly, it's a privilege to be this busy and surrounded by so many beautiful, deeply passionate people. So please, stick around -- things are just getting started.