Why be an Actor?
I feel that acting is a craft that a person can’t master. Technically, there’s no wrong or right way to act. There are so many different techniques, and so many unique people in the world that we all individually bring something special to the table. Two people can say the same thing in the same way, and it will still be different in some way. The influence that comes with acting, and playing different characters is what feeds my Soul. I always felt different, and I always felt special in some way. Even in my darkest moments in my life, I felt like I was destined for greatness. For me, becoming an Actor, and having that influence is that greatness I feel.
How do you maintain your viability in such a competitive industry?
I try to focus on my clear understanding that everyday is different, every experience is worth living, and my love for everything is what matters. Of course, I am human, some days are harder than others but understanding how to separate my emotions, business, and my actions keep me solid. Even keeping these things in the right lane don’t guarantee no accidents. But if accidents come, it’s easier to adjust to the fire.
Who would be an ideal mentor and why?
Denzel Washington would be my ideal mentor. He has a drive that pushes beyond a good performance. He comes from a world of greatness. With that greatness also comes knowledge, and I’m a firm believer that you can only be as great as you see yourself. I believe his wisdom could inspire me to visualize that greatness in myself.
Training and acting classes are said to be critical. How did these things impact your path?
When I first decided to pursue acting, I had no clue on how to go about things. I had no knowledge of an acting resume, breaking down scripts, how to audition, and how to take headshots. Taking acting classes educated me on all those things and improved my performance on and off the camera. I learned about online sources that I could submit my headshots to, and possibly audition for upcoming projects. I also learned about the business side of the industry, because if you don’t know how to market yourself, there’s a chance you may not find much success. I believe my acting career would still be on the back burner if I wouldn’t have convinced myself to take an acting class.
What advice would you give someone seeking to become an actor?
Prepare yourself mentally before pursuing your acting career. You might have a ton of No’s but all it takes is one yes. Coming into the entertainment industry can be cutthroat but developing thick skin, you will be fine. Take acting classes and learn about the business side of the industry. You will need to know how to market yourself successfully. A lot of people have tremendous talent but never get seen because they fail to learn how to market themselves. Your talent and performance can always be improved by going to classes, but you need the opportunity to show your talent first. After you have trained and learned how to market yourself. Audition and continue to grow as an Actor. Eventually, you will find an agent to represent you and the rest will be history.
What role won't you play and why?
Honestly, I will try any role if I can see myself performing well. If I feel I can’t perform the role on a high level or if there’s a previous version of the role that shouldn’t be touched, I won’t play it. Otherwise, I love a challenge, and I love being pushed out of my comfort zone when it comes to acting beyond my usual self.
What does success look like to you?
Success in my acting career looks like me being consistently active on a project. Rather it’s an acting role, or a role helping with some type of creative direction. Even if I’m just observing, learning, or coaching on a project. That is what success look like for me. Success is what you make it, so me being part of the project is the success. Not the result nor the accomplishments attained from the finished product, that’s just an appreciation for the love I have for the craft.
How can we stay connected to you?
Facebook Page: facebook.com/shawntheleo
About Shawn A Williams
Shawn A Williams grew up in Buena Vista, Georgia. He played high school football and was an amazing track star. In 2006, during his senior year he won an award for being the most outstanding sprinter. He served four years in the U.S. Army. After serving in the military, Shawn went back to school and attained a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at National American University. During his Sophomore year of college, Shawn decided to move to San Diego California to pursue modeling and acting. During his pursuit, he started interning for the Department of Veterans Affairs as an IT specialist, which lead to a permanent position as a Service Support Specialist. Although, helping Veterans and having a steady job was rewarding for him. Shawn still couldn’t resist his passion for Acting and modeling.