By Jules Lavallee
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 06/19/2020 – New Yorker, Alex Perez has a 25-years in the entertainment business. He wrote and directed Media Killed the Video Star, which premiered at NY Comedy Club and transferred to Dillon’s Reprise Room for a few seasons. His second creation ‘Ultimate Drag Off’ ran for 10 seasons in various NYC off Broadway houses. Alex has directed and produced over 125 regional, community, off and off-off Broadway projects. He coaches and teaches adults and teens in various schools in the NY/NJ area and has been the Artistic Director of award-winning musical theatre programs for over 20 years. He has achieved over 15 awards and 35 nominations with Papermill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for his work. Alex re-mounted the award-winning OZ! A Twisted Musical as director/choreographer for an off-Broadway run at Producer’s Club II. He launched the Actors Channel to create a platform for Actors of all levels to find a fun, valuable resource to have for inspiration, advice, tips, and lessons on subjects that vary from the Business of Acting and Acting technique to theatre history and resources.
You have an outstanding career as a Director/Choreographer and Actor for over 25-years. What is it about the entertainment business that resonates with your soul?
The ability to share empathy. The ability to change people’s minds through the power of theatre and film or open someone’s thoughts to something they’ve never considered before. The power to heal others through art and promote change. To shed light on dark subjects and foster belief in conviction.
What are some of the challenges you see with Actors today?
There is a disheartening pattern of wanting to go from A to Z, without wanting to implement and ENJOY steps B through Y. There are so many rewards in the process, there is so much to gain in disappointment, there is much to believe in yourself when you discover patience, rejection, regret, and life experiences. THAT is the stuff of life. THAT process is an actor’s dream. Some actors want to bypass that and think that they don’t need to study, train, experience lows, and highs and live a full life outside of acting.
Share your best advice for young Actors wanting to get into the business.
READ. Read a LOT. Read plays and read books on theatre history, people, events & read about topics outside acting. An actor’s life is reading. Reading scripts, sides, and plays. Learning lines daily. I can tell a great actor by how well-read they are.
Their vocabulary, imagination, and creative resources are expanded by reading. They build a library of choices in their heads. They understand the written word. A writer’s intention. They become incredible grammar gurus. I respect an actor who can discuss meter, timing, and rhythm and take a writer’s work and flesh it out with their intentions when they perform.
You launched the Actors Channel. What makes your channel so powerful?
I wanted to create a platform for actors of all levels to find a fun, valuable resource to have for inspiration, advice, tips, and lessons on subjects that vary from the Business of Acting and Acting technique to theatre history and resources. With my strong background in arts education, I felt it was important to also provide information in an entertaining way. Some friends have said, “It’s basically ‘Sesame Street’ meets ‘Saturday Night Live’, but for Actors.” If that’s what they see, great because I feel those two sources are institutions of entertainment that I love and for so many reasons. I wanted to bring JOY into the platform. JOY for the love of acting. I’m very passionate about the craft and I hope that comes through with the work we put into each and every episode.
During this pandemic how important is it for continuous training of the craft?
What better time to train, absorb, and learn than now? I always feel that the universe creates moments in our lives to push us towards a deeper truth. This pandemic has given people two choices… do nothing and wait.. Or CREATE! I chose to CREATE!
You have developed skits to help train Actors in a fun approachable no-nonsense way. Tell us about this approach.
I myself have a short attention span, upon my research, I think there’s a lot of people out there like me. I immediately get tired or bored at approaches in acting class where the instructor is either talking AT you or talking to you and checking the clock every 15 minutes to see when the class will be over. There is something incredibly wrong with a lot of it. I wanted to create an educational audio/visual experience with different characters, different scenarios, and a cornucopia of ‘guests’ that come in and out of the ‘Actors Channel’ family to help the audience learn something with humor, fun, and heart. It was completely important for me to also display my talents as a writer, producer, director/choreographer, actor, filmmaker, and overall goofball. So in some ways, there’s lots of nonsense- in a no-nonsense way.
What is your vision for the Actors Channel?
We have 20 episodes in the can. We will be releasing an episode a week, like a television variety show. We want to build a community of inclusion and learners that want to grow together, but also build on their ability to keep their passions alive. We are branching out into online courses in July, building a team of coaches that believe in this joyful approach. There’s more videos and more zany characters coming your way. The hope is that we become a resource for actors of all levels, and a way for people to find FUN in a career that can be incredibly challenging and downright scary. We want people to know that they can have a resource to look at if they have questions about themselves, the business, the craft. And that we are rooting for them to succeed.
Are you looking for partners for your channel?
Yes. We just got off the ground now so we’re focusing on our work and working diligently to get material out there – but Netflix or Disney would be a nice partner.
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