Happy Friday, my dear readers! Lately, I've been featuring local actors here in the DMV. This week, I had the pleasure to interview Baltimore-based veteran actor Brian St. August, who is featured in the new Western Day of the Gun:
Q - You were in two locally shot Westerns, One-Eyed-Horse and Day of the Gun. Are Westerns your favorite genre to play?
I love playing in Westerns, especially period pieces like Day of the Gun and One-Eyed Horse, but they aren't my favorite genre. Since I did those two Westerns, I became a very avid rider, and horseback riding is something that I have kept in my life. However, I particularly enjoy psychological dramas, science fiction, uplifting movies and romantic comedies.
Q - You did 10 films last year! What's the key to being so prolific?
I did a lot of both TV leads and movie projects over the last 18 months, primarily because I am a diverse character actor. I do a lot of different looks, accents, voice affects and a wide variety of characters/roles from homeless men to corporate executives. To me, the key is to have good agents, go after everything that looks interesting regardless of potential compensation, be able to adjust your style, look and vocalization to as many potential roles as possible. I also believe very much that this is the most networking intensive business of them all. It is very important to market yourself effectively and consistently.
For instance, I am always hovering at the 5000 friend maximum on Facebook and a high percentage of those friends are in the Entertainment Business. I have just recently signed a letter of intent to play a leading role in a major movie shooting in New Mexico. The writer and director knew me from Facebook and have followed my career.
Q - How did you get started acting?
Both my son and my daughter are theater trained actors and very successful in their own careers. I became interested in acting after a major open heart surgery that I had in 1999 and made the decision to do all of the things I had wanted to do, but was too shy to pursue. I did a ton of background work on many, many studio pictures and began getting principal parts a couple of years later. Acting just seemed to come natural for me and, of course, my son and daughter taught me a lot of important things.
Q - What's been your favorite role?
I've had a lot of memorable roles, but I particularly enjoyed Dr. Kline in Roulette, Colonel John Cussons in One-Eyed Horse, Fritz Gerhardt in Reunion, William Herkenrider in Pretty Bad Girls - Sugar Daddy Issues and most recently Simon Doubleday in Day of the Gun. I used a different accent or voice affect in every one of these projects and most people would not recognize me from one project to the other.
Q - Where have you trained?
I have taken advantage of many developmental programs from "The Network" in New York City, including two prime time drama classes taught by Emmy Award winning casting director, Mary Clay Boland, who hired me to play Sergeant McGill on As the World Turns in 2009.
Q - How did you get cast in Evil Twins and Southern Fried Homicide?
I have been very fortunate to have been noticed as a character actor by both M2 Pictures and Sirens Media, two of the major producers of re-inactment TV programs. Sylvia Hutson, my agent in Portsmouth, VA, has been instrumental in me getting MANY significant projects for the Investigation Discovery Channel including Pretty Bad Girls and Wicked Attraction, FBI Criminal Pursuit, and Happily Never After to name a few of my leads.
Through Sirens Media, I did two entirely different roles on several episodes of Evil Twins and Southern Fried Homicide. I also did a project with M2 Pictures for a Destination America Channel show called Monsters and Mysteries in America. I played a fellow with hair down to his waist. Again, if you saw me in every one of these shows, you probably wouldn't immediately recognize me.
Q - What's a funny set-story you can tell me?
When I shot One-Eyed Horse, lead actor Mark Redfield and I were on horseback behind a make up tent, waiting for our scene to get started. The horses on the East Coast are generally not familiar with gunfire and will become easily spooked. Unknown to Mark and me, Director Wayne Shipley decided to shoot a short scene in front of ours and, of course, the actor in that scene discharged his Colt. Immediately, Mark's horse and mine both reared up and started kicking at the tent poles holding the tent up and we were both lucky to not get thrown from our horses. But the more that you do these kinds of movies, the more you prepare for these situations, but this was a first for me and I'm just glad we didn't knock the tent down on crew [laughs].
Q - What's next?
On January 26th, I will be hosting the Baltimore premiere screening of the movie, Day of the Gun, in which I play a principal role and also narrate the movie. I just signed a letter of intent to play a leading role in the movie Angel Falls written by Alan Riehl. This movie will shoot in New Mexico. I am in Los Angeles this month and am planning to discuss another interview with the producers at Actors E. So, with the usual surprise auditions and castings to look forward to as well, 2014 should be a great year.