Growing up in New York, Paul Connor, a student and director at The Acting Center, was no stranger to the acting business. As evidenced by him moving to LA and doing spots on such shows as, That 70’s Show and The Middle. Paul has recently gotten a terrific web series into production and is winning awards in festivals across the country. In this short interview, he talks about how training at The Acting Center has helped him with his passion.
| .When did you start studying at The Acting Center?
In 2013. My mom heard that Christopher and Tamra and the others had started The Acting Center out here in LA, so I went and checked it out. I was at another studio at the time, and so I wrapped up my studies there, and began studying at The Acting Center.
When did you decide that you wanted to get into producing your own projects and directing?
While working as an actor I always thought it was interesting what the crew was doing, how a show all comes together. There are so many jobs on a set! When it came time for college, I decided to go to USC film school to learn about the other side of the camera, and had an amazing time, all the while continuing to act. Acting has always been first for me. But there is so much to do in show business, and I found I enjoy doing just about all of it! When I would talk to friends, and ideas for projects would come up, I always wanted to do them, so that’s what I did.
Did The Acting Center play any part in that decision?
The Acting Center is such a supportive and creative environment, it breeds productivity. The drills, both for acting and directing, keep you sharp, playful and confident, which leads to creativity and getting a lot done.
What at The Acting Center has helped you most?
The gain is cumulative. The drills, the people, the artistic environment… it all adds up to a great experience where you just grow as an artist. The more you put in, the more you get back, and nothing gets in the way of you expanding into whatever area you want to explore.
Tell us about your recent success with the series you co-wrote and directed.
It’s called The Applicant. It’s a six episode action-thriller series that follows a guy named Adam Parker who is involved in some shady business. It’s a story of justice and redemption colliding in a high-tech world of questionable actions and immense power. It’s part Bourne Identity, part The Americans. It’s a thrilling, twisting ride!
The idea came out of exploring how in high tech startups and in advertising, there can be a sort of double speak, a twisting of reality to cover what’s really going on… We wanted to play with that, and it got crazy!
We’ve gotten great responses. We were invited to a number of great festivals including Dances With Films, Hollyshorts, the New York Television Festival (NYTVF), and the Independent Television Festival (ITVF). We’re releasing online at the end of February, and we’re so excited to have the world see it! (FB and Insta: TheApplicantSeries)
What is your favorite thing about The Acting Center?
The people! And the environment created by those people. It’s just such a supportive space, full of artists, doing what we do!
Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d like to say thank you to Tamra, Eric, April, and Christopher, and all the teachers and students I’ve met and worked with, and will definitely be working with in the future!
Have you been looking for safe place to hone your craft? Meet with us and see if we‘re what you’ve been looking for!
Student Spotlight – Paul Connor