Today I am talking with actor Brad Milne who was kind enough to answer some questions on his acting craft along with his other talents.
Welcome Brad; tell me where here are you originally from?
Originally I`m from Toronto As a toddler I lived in North Miami Beach, Florida for a couple years where I acquired my life long yearning for the ocean. I also lived at Whistler Mountain, spent some time traveling around the Province of Quebec, and several years in San Antonio, Texas where I still frequent where the best part of my life lives my daughter!
Share with me some insight on your inspiration to become involved with acting and the entertainment industry?
As a youth in elementary school; I remember playing the part of a blind boy after our class went on a field trip to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. After the trip I was interviewed by my classmates which was a thrill for me! During the years that followed I performed in a few school plays but that`s not what really led to the acting career though. A bit later on I became involved in a sport called Freestyle Skiing and four years later I was a national champion in my discipline, which at the time was called Ballet Skiing ".
A few years after that I started a skiing troupe with some buddies that traveled across Canada demonstrating the sport. I`ve always been interested in communicating with people and became a pretty efficient sales person and self-promoter. I think that the combination of these things lead me to acting.
Michael Shurtleff (author of Audition) and the woman whom introduced him to me, prolific acting coach Bernadette Jones are two very important inspirations that got me going as an actor.
Tell me about your recent film Zombie Strippers and your role as Dr Chushfeld? "Zombie Strippers" is the second film working with writer/director/ cinematographer Jay Lee, his first was "The Slaughter." Calvin Green also a producer on both Jay Lee horror films introduced me to Jay`s company, Scream HQ. Jay enjoys writing parts for actors, utilizing their unique skills from film to film. In the case of Zombie Strippers, I have a fascinating story: Shortly after moving back to Los Angeles in March 2005 I had an audition for a Coca-Cola industrial, a film that would play only in the main theatre of their headquarters. The character they envisioned was modern Doc a la Back to the Future. I`m always up for a challenge when it comes to character creation ", so I profiled a forward thinking modern scientist and modeled my character after him. I submersed myself into the man`s life, reading his books, studying him, speaking his words and making them my own. At my audition I felt great, it rocked, but I didn`t get the part. But I created this wonderful character, and being a die-hard artist I continued working the character and understanding why he is doing what he is doing ".
About a year later after having done the first film for Jay Lee, his sister Angela and I were talking, she said that Jay had written me into Zombie Strippers, I thought how cool! She went on to say that I`d been written in as Dr. Chushfeld, the scientist and maniacal mastermind whom creates the chaos in Zombie Strippers. I didn`t tell her right then what I`d been working at for over a year. I wanted to read the script first and see how this Chushfeld guy was written and understand the overall story. I did tell them eventually that I`d been working on a complex scientist character for some time. How`s that for fate? I applied my character development added some of the seasoning`s that came from Jay`s creation gave Dr. Chushfeld some deep personal dilemmas, and voila he was born.
Was there a time that you found a role extremely challenging?
The single most challenging role without doubt was Bob Smith Yank from Eugene O`Neill`s "The Hairy Ape." This was an intense character that required me to not only dig deep to explore the corners of his mind and soul, but also his period in time, and his challenges "they were few but they were huge. The challenge didn`t end there, the language of the time, and Yanks own individuality made this by far the biggest challenge so far.
The Artistic Director at The San Pedro Playhouse; Frank Latson cast me because he felt I brought an intensity the role required. One reviewer wrote, after seeing the opening night: Brad Milne might strike some as a surprising choice to play the lead in The Hairy Ape. He`s tall, but not physically imposing, and he`s not terribly furry. But he brings such a raw, ferocious quality to the role form the opening seconds of the Cellar Theater production that he immediately squashes any doubts. Deborah Martin, Express-News Staff Writer.
Frank went with my life force in the role and we decided no intermission, and with Yank driving 7 of the 8 long scenes in the play each performance was a marathon in itself. Yank drove through the story like a man running the last race of his life but with the same vigor of a champion athlete headed for the finish line, in Yanks case the final one as he crashed into a delusional state leading to his demise.
During the production my daughter was treated for a heart condition and underwent heart surgery to correct a condition. The days leading up to her surgery, and that day in particular were without doubt the scariest moments of my life, nothing can compare. Thankfully her surgery was a success! When I left the hospital to do the performance that night the weight of the world had surely been lifted. That night the performance was a celebration of her life, as have so many since then I am very happy to say!
I`ve heard that you are also an acting coach and have acting boot camps, can you tell me a little about them and how people can attend?
I`ve always been the mentoring type and enjoy helping people. As a skier I loved teaching other skiers which eventually lead to organizing and coaching at my own camps. As a sales and marketing guy the same passion continued so it was easy to transition to training sales people and helping others with negotiating skills. Naturally when I went into acting it eventually came to be that teaching became a part of this career. When I started acting 17 years ago I dove into studying with a vengeance for five solid years, and I`ve not stopped working on the craft on pretty much a daily basis ever since.
Years later when I moved to Texas to help raise my daughter a local talent agent asked me Brad what do you want to do here in San Antonio? To her surprise I said I`d like to teach. About a month later her agency created a school that kept me busy for a year, from there I coached privately, did workshops, helped actors whenever I could. When I moved back to L.A. another local agent in San Antonio had the idea to bring me back into town to teach intensive camps. That started four years ago and has been successful and has grown ever since. Last year in L.A. we had students from Canada, U.S. and Germany. I haven`t planned another summer camp this year but am definitely open to it. Any takers?
Share with me your other areas of expertise for instance television commercials, theatre and film projects?
At the beginning of my career I was very fortunate to get hired for loads of commercials. Often times I`d get to do special skills type Ads as an athlete doing acrobatics or skiing. Those jobs opened doors for many other opportunities and were a great experience for understanding how things work on set. In the first years of my career theatre wasn`t a focus; in fact it wasn`t until I moved to Texas in mid 1999 that theatre came onto my radar screen. About a year and a half after being in Texas I stumbled into playing Santa Anna in locally grown musical Gone to Texas. From there it was like the train had left the station and I was on for the ride; one role after another for the next three and a half years, in all I think there were about twenty shows in a row, sixteen of them leading roles. Being on stage taught me many things about acting and working in an ensemble. I think it`s required for actors to pay their dues on stage because that`s where you really learn, there`s no second take, and you either get it or very quickly figure out how to get out of trouble. It`s wonderful to feed from an audience, that part of it I always enjoy whether it`s a small intimate setting or a 500+ seat theatre.
So far in the film career I`ve mainly worked on low budget film projects and with that I really have had a chance to learn so much about how to get things done without spending a great deal of money. In the lower budget film experience an actor really has to look after themselves in every respect, sometimes you manage your own continuity from shot to shot, and day to day. Lower budget film projects can turn into very interesting and recognizable films like Zombie Strippers. And, they`re a great place for actors to cut their teeth and develop a body of character work. From all those experiences, and now moving into the producing arena I`ve been blessed with the opportunity to learn from others, perhaps see and learn from their mistakes.
Regarding Izzy Legit; (www.izzylegit.com) I understand that you not only had a acting role in, but also took part in writing , producing and coaching the production, tell me something about that? Izzy Legit as a project has been a fascinating journey. In December of 2006 I was fortunate to get a communications contract with a software company to produce TV commercials for them. I sought a partner to work with on the project and forged ties with cinematographer, director, writer Andrew Giannetta. Drew is an equal and co-founding partner in Branded Raw Films, the company behind Izzy Legit. The commercial campaign we worked on centered on a very funny cheap character. Drew and I coined him the cheap bastard and began building a secondary webisode and feature film project based on the character.
We even wrote a complete treatment for a feature length screenplay. After some months of development we realized potential marketing limitations with the name and after analyzing whom this cheap bastard was he became Izzy Legit. Like the name of our company Branded Raw, we branded the character, his story lines, and his web presence. Branded Raw is an anagram of Brad Andrew " " which is where the name came from. Drew and I have worked fiercely over the past year developing the Izzy Legit project and its central character Isadore Mendelove. Izzy Legit breaks into three story lines Cheap for Life ", Putz to Player ", and into a 2nd comedy brand The Extermutator." It seemed natural for us to have me play the original and the evolved character, Izzy Legit. The character is a complete combination of our skills as creators, writers, and producers. Izzy is most definitely a collaborative effort resulting in a funny and complex character, and his stories. When Drew and I work as a team on set he directs and I act. Having a natural affinity for working with actors and creating characters its natural for me to coach and gently guide where there going with their character. When Drew and the directing take over the whole thing sings.
What do you do in your spare time, if any?
My number one priority is sharing the best quality time possible with my amazing daughter. I like hanging out with good friends, looking after myself "getting exercise and good nutrition. Sometimes when the office/home is empty I crank up the tunes and sing and dance like no one`s watching, because no one isJ.
Are there any new projects in the works?
Right now the focus is getting the Izzy Legit projects produced and into distribution. For more information go to www.izzylegit.com
I`m always on the look out for an interesting acting role, so anyone reading this that has something interesting I think my email address is somewhere in this article, please get in touch!
I`m blessed even though I`ve struggled to get to this point in the acting career. The blessing is knowing that every time I step into the creative realm whether it`s planning, creating, writing, on stage, or film set that I have absolutely achieved my life`s artistic pursuit. I love to entertain people and hope to continue doing it for a long time to come.
Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for people beginning in the acting craft?
My best advice to anyone starting out in the acting career is to you ask yourself one question. Why am I doing what I am doing? So, I ask you why you want to be an actor? Or why do you want to continue to be an actor? Go ahead, make my day and answer me directly, I`d be more than happy to correspond with you.
Brad resides in Marina del Rey, CA not too far from the ocean J and continues with his acting craft and coaching. www.bradmilne.com
Judyth Piazza chats with Brad Milne, Co-founder of Branded Raw ...