Prolific Hollywood Talent Phillip E. Walker’s Interview
Updated: Aug 1, 2022
1) What are the factors to be careful of to become a Good Performer?
Ego! I think we performers should, leave our egos at home and pick it back up again when we return home from set!
2) You are the major performer of a Great Drama which spoke about the problems and
rights of common people in the USA. Do you like to bring a Feature Film based on your
Drama Company? What would be the major events you would like to express through that
First of all, I have no interest in producing any independently financed feature film because,given the likely low return on investment, that format is just too expensive. Therefore, I wouldonly be interested in acting and writing for a Hollywood studio level financed motion picture of my African American Drama Company (AADC).
With that being said, currently distributed on the Inland Empire Films’ (IEF) https://StreamingFilmChannel.com is my short film Video Memoir “2022 Black History Month...”.
It covers many of the aspects of AADC's glorious history that would be appropriately expanded upon in a feature film about that traveling theatre company which has played (live & in-person) at least twice in all 50 United States plus internationally. I encourage Film de Arte readers to subscribe to IEF and witness some of those AADC “major events”.
3) Social Media is a great platform to showcase our talents. "Courteney Cox on Instagram"
is an example of that. How does Social Media influence your career as a performer?
Like the video production accessibility created by digital photography, when it comes to self
promotion, Social Media supplies to all of us indie artists a great equalizer. Therefore, for maybe the past half decade, 5 to 7 times every week I have shared a Facebook post about my work in Hollywood. Such consistent use of Social Media has enabled me to gain meaningful visibility for my work, without spending major advertising dollars.
4) What was your experience performing in "Courteney Cox on Instagram"?
Just talkin’ like we do, I recently shared the following with Mark Winn, the Hollywood actor
colleague who I just finish directing in the New York City (USA) New Federal Theatre virtual
table read production of Belinda Walker’s “Cuz”:
I have NEVER looked at any playback monitor to view my performance while I was on set.
That's in more than 1000 different film or video productions during the last seven plus years. I take this approach for fear of judging my performance while I am creating that performance.
Rather, like I did back when I acted in live theatre, I count on the director, etc. to judge my
performance and give me Notes that I use in real time to make that performance better.
Therefore, if the director is not good at analyzing my performance and/or verbally
communicating to me his/her adjustments, it will result in my act not being its highest possible quality.
Hollywood A-List, light up every room, NBC-TV “Friends” star Courteney Cox in her directorial debut for our recently released Gallo wine Clos du Bois SAG Internet Commercials “Live A Little” & “Enjoying Life”, as well as in the “Courteney Cox on Instagram” Old School dance instructional video, Courteney proved to have been my best director so far in supplying to me such Notes. Some of the time she even gave me Notes while the camera was rolling and focused upon me, during the taping of my solo dancing to Burno Mars’ "UpTown Funk" audio playback.
Perhaps her perfect approach was because Ms. Cox actually understands acting. A craft that even many accomplished Hollywood directors clearly do not understand!
5) If you get an opportunity to work with a famous Hollywood director, who would you
I have been blessed to have already worked with several famous Hollywood directors including the five-time Best Director OSCAR nominee Darren Aronofsky directing my first ever SAG National Commercial Principal role in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (also FDA) “Only One Leaves”. I am now hoping to gain an opportunity for my performance work to be directed by two time Academy Award® winner Spike Lee. Come on Spike. Let’s do the late comedian/activist Dick Gregory bio picture, with me depicting one of my Chicago hometown,long time idols. I’m sure such a major motion picture would be a big hit!
6) What would be your advice for a young performer?
I suggest that young performers first hone their skills in a formal training program. Given the importance in the World of our craft, new additions to performance professions surely should prepare at least at the undergraduate level. Further, if one really wants to develop a high level performance career, young talent should complete their earned Master of Fine Arts (MFA) terminal degree in their performance area specialty. I’m not talking about the few hours per week study that Hollywood offers. I’m talking about full-time, dedicated training like that required to become a professional doctor or lawyer. For surely, our operating upon human hearts and souls is just as delicate as those professional’s operations upon human bodies and minds!
Then, once that young performer’s advanced studies of the craft are completed, I suggest they prepare to go to work as a full-time Hollywood performer through online employment securing study at my http://HollywoodActorJobs.com workshop. This 30+ award winning (including 6 Film de Arte Awards led by their Golden Film Award Best Educational Film of the Year nod)training program is based on my workbook http://EntryLevelActing.la. Once the content of ALL six major chapters of the Book are mastered and that Show Business study is complete, I suggest these young performers come to Southern California to begin working as talent. I say SoCal because it is the only location in the World that creates enough production to make it likely that such a well prepared novice performer might eventually make a living working in their craft.
7) Do you feel talent or training is more important for a performer?
Training! That is because, first of all, one has no control over their amount of talent.
Additionally, because talent is somewhat worthless when it is not well honed.
For example, I was blessed to have completed my Loyola University of Chicago (USA)
undergraduate actor training in the 1972 class of performers who were all more talented than myself. This fact encouraged me to receive in greater detail, then apply more thoroughly, the performer training that we were being given. This paid off big time because I used that greater commitment to our studies to eventually succeed in our profession at a higher or at least equal level as most of my super talented undergraduate colleagues.
8) What's your process for dealing with performance anxiety?
Becoming better prepared before reporting to the set. Among other things, high level, advanced training teaches a performer HOW to prepare. Talent becomes anxious mostly because we are aware (deep inside) that we don’t know what we are doing in a given gig. Preparing one’s craft in general, plus thoroughly preparing for a specific performance, takes all of that anxiety away. This allows us to relax while shooting, so that our talents can shine.
9) If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
If I could, I would outlaw casting’s use of self-tape auditions! In order to be successful in being cast through this approach of auditioning, talent must now become filmmakers who control lighting, editing, art direction, cinematography, sound and so much more that has nothing to do with whether the performer can play the role for which he/she is auditioning.
At the time of this publication, the Hollywood motion picture industry has apparently decided that the Coronavirus is no longer a health threat. This belief has enabled production to return to pre-Pandemic levels of output. Despite that fact, casting is still doing the vase majority of its initial auditions as self-tape media requests. Although I understand that it is much easier and cheaper for casting to require that talent do ALL of the audition technical production work that casting used to do before COVID-19, this self-tape audition approach works against casting’s ability to discover the best fit for the role. In essence, production is now forced to cast the best filmmaker, rather than the best talent for the part. Going forward, this does not bod well for my profession.
10) What are the problems faced by performers nowadays? Suggest some ways to solve the problems.
Disrespect for how much hard labor it takes to give a great performance is a major problem in my profession. Although I do enjoy my work as a performer, it is NOT fun! Fun is related to play.
High quality acting, dancing, singing, modeling, etc. is work! Therefore, I wish we would remove from our industry’s professional language such performer Notes as “have fun with it”. No one would ever say such a thing to encourage a doctor or lawyer. Despite the fact that they enjoy their work just as much as we performers enjoy our work.