Its 12:23 am
Welcome to “8 Questions with…….”
When I used to book bands,my first booking job was at a small bar called Marsugi’s.
It held around 150 heads and we featured a lot of touring acts but the glue to our club were the local bands that played for us.
One of the best things about booking or even working there was seeing the excitement and raw passion of giving a band their first shows. The best two best shows I always tried to get were record releases and that all important FIRST show. Why??
Because you knew without a doubt they were going to put on their very best performance and leave everything on the stage….add in the fact they were playing in front of friends and family,on many nights it was pure magic and to see a band take off…amazing.
Meeting Dominic Cancelliere reminded me of those bands….he is hungry and ready to show his skills,drive and smarts on anyone’s film. He is an actor’s equivalent of a “gym rat”,first one to the set,knows his and everyone’s lines,isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and helps out the crew and is among the last to leave.
Dominic’s desire to make a name and doing great work comes across brightly even when one is chatting through Facebook. Balancing a home life in Ohio while pursuing a professional life in Atlanta is no small task and many normal folks couldn’t do it for long. Dominic knows he needs the support of his family and friends and through their love and support,this young actor already has worked on over 30 projects in less then two years. With a work ethic like that,it won’t be too much longer before Dominic takes the next step forward in his career…..just remember where you heard his name first…..
And now,let’s go ask Dominic his 8 Questions…..
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest project.
Hi Patrick, my name is Dominic Cancelliere, I am 24 years old from Cleveland, Ohio. I played college football at Tiffin University, and later transferred to Cleveland State University and finished my degrees in Marketing and Economics. I quit my first 9/5 post college job, because I could not take sitting behind a desk, missing out on opportunities with acting. You only got one life to live and I was not living my life to the fullest in punching numbers all day. I would rather give it my all and fail, then come back to reality and work a normal job and rot away in a cubicle. I have been a substitute teacher this whole past school year, its flexible and allows me to have a flexible schedule to pursue acting. This summer I made it my goal to not make any excuses to not do projects that are worth my time. I have spent a lot of time in Atlanta, the booming new movie hot spot. It sucks being away from family and ubering everywhere but luckily i have a supporting family and friends in the hotel industry to get me discounted rate. My friend’s dad, Joe Isernia, always helps me with rooms and really makes the burden of traveling a lot easier. My latest project was a very featured role on the show Brockmire starring Hank Azaria. I cant give many more details on this role, but it was one of my favorite experiences on set.
What was it like growing up in your home? What are some of your favorite memories?
Growing up in my home was great, I have two sisters one is Nicolina 25, she is a pharmacist and does really well for herself through hard work and years of school. My younger sister is 19, she is going to Ohio State University in the fall, she reminds me a lot of myself. My dad moved to this country at a very young age from Sicily with his family and has been working his whole life providing for us, he is truly my hero. My mother is my biggest fan in my acting career, she’s always bugging me with questions and is just always by my side. I have a beautiful girlfriend name Sami, who I have been with since junior year in high school, she is in her last year of nursing school. I have a very supportive family and i could not be more grateful for that. Some of my favorite memories are when life was simple and just enjoyed the little things, going on vacation, family dinners, and just family time, when we were all home and together.
When did you decide you wanted to become an actor? What was the reaction from your friends and family?
When I decided to be an actor at first it was a shock.I got into this industry randomly while working at Shinto Japanese Steakhouse, and ended up meeting a casting director.From there my life took a big change. It all started out as fun and games, and just doing any work I could do to get experience and learn. After awhile i got tired of being an extra and background and decided to start taking acting lessons, get professional headshots, get real acting experience. When I quit my full time job in October of 2018 it was scary, I did not know what I was going to do for $ and just in general, so I took a leap of faith, drove all around the country gaining more experience and started making it my full time job. I started applying auditioning and later getting 4 Talent Agencies in multiple cities which helped my career immensely. My parents and family are very supportive and its hard for them to understand this industry as its hard for anybody not in it to understand what they can do to help, but they are as supportive as they could be and i could not be more happy about that.
How important is your education to you? What do you like about the classroom?
My education is very important to me, I graduated with 2 degrees from college, and I am happy I did. Although it is not doing me much good now, but it is great to have something to fall back on. I never saw the point of acting classes until I started taking them, they are the most important tool an actor can have. Its not just “pretending to be someone” in acting – there is so much I have learned and am still learning from them. I love learning new things and constantly growing as an actor.
What was your first job in the industry and how did it happen for you?
My first job was an extra role in “Acts Of Violence” starring Bruce Willis, filmed in Cleveland. I was serving tables and met a local casting director,Angela Boehms,who I owe my whole career to, she saw something in me that night, even though it was for a featured extra role, she has been supportive and a mentor to me all of my career.
What is the difference between an “credited” and “uncredited” role?
Uncredited and credited is a big thing in this industry and it simply means if you are credited in the end credits of the film or not. Uncredited is very common for extras and background roles, while you may be in the movie and on screen for a lot, if you are not credited, you are not in the end credits. Usually when you are booked as something generic as “paramedic, jogger, coffee shop patron” those are uncredited roles, whereas a named character is a credited role, usually with speaking lines. There is exceptions to the rule, but that is the general outline.
What has been your three favorite films to work on and what made them special?
My 3 favorite films i have worked on would be White Boy Rick starring Matthew McConaughey, I got to spend a lot of time around him, and talked to him. It was just so surreal and he was so down to earth and gave me some nice advice- truly moments like that make me keep going. Other productions i have enjoyed working on was recently Brockmire in Atlanta, and Escape Plan 3 starring Sylvestor Stallone. It was 6 days of shooting in a haunted prison in Mansfield, it was very excruciating at times but it was nice being booked multiple days on a big project. I met some great people along the way and many continue to be good friends.
How does improv make you better as an actor? What has been the one area of your acting that has challenged you the most?
Improv is essential for an actor, I always avoided this while studying acting. It made me super uncomfortable getting a random category and a random story and just in a matter of seconds acting it out in front of others. However I finally started training and attending improv classes because it is essential, so many times in an audition you are told to improv a scene based off of what they tell you. You have to think fast and be creative, and when you are uncomfortable you are learning and growing as a an actor. Improv allows you as an actor to be creative, there is no right or wrong, and the only time you are wrong is when you are not taking chances and being creative. My hardest part about acting has been acting in roles that are not really how i would cast myself, I am usually always casted as a bad guy or a tough guy because of my size, hair , and beard. When I get cast or audition for a role that is not dramatic or the bad guy, it takes me a lot more time to get into that character. I have grown a lot as an actor doing roles outside my comfort zone, because acting is not always the same role you have to be open and ready to do anything.
If you were at an audition and a follow actor who going for the same part asked for your help,would you do or not and why?
I would always help out an actor by any means, this industry is cut throat and many people think it’s all about themselves. That is not the case,if we all helped each other out this industry,it would be so much more fun and positive. There is a role out there for everyone, if I can help anyone get a role or help them grow, I will. I have learned if someone else is meant for a role opposed to myself, kudos to them by helping them get it, it is just as good of a feeling as if I got it. I am on so many groups on FB and am constantly applying for roles and sharing that information to others, even if they may get it opposed to me. I love helping others and seeing people succeed in this industry. There are too many people that are only thinking about themselves, and those people are truly the worst. I support and respect anybody taking a leap of faith and trying to make it in this industry.
What haa been the biggest adjustment for you moving from Ohio to Georgia?
So I haven’t fully moved down to Georgia just yet. Just have been spending a lot of time down here, because around here we have not gotten much work. I am not a tree, I need to go wherever and whenever if I truly want to make it. The biggest adjustment is coming from a smaller market to a bigger market, the competition is more fierce and i do not know many people down here. I went from having connections and a reputation, to just a small fish in a huge pond. It’s like starting from scratch, it’s scary and overwhelming but you just got to keep pushing and stop making excuses for yourself.
What does “ambition” mean to you?
Ambition means having a motor that just does not quit. I face constant rejection with auditions and submissions, but you just got to keep pushing. I want this more than I have wanted anything in life, and i will not give up until I have either,one- made it, or two- do not have the ambition or drive to keep going. This industry is brutal and the chance for success is very very little, it’s like hitting the lottery, but hey if your dreams don’t scare you, are they big enough? You got one life, each day is not an guarantee, its a blessing and I want to make the most of my limited time on this Earth, doing what I love with the ones I love.
What are your 5 five favorite films amd why?
My 5 favorite films are Avatar, Apocalypto, Dazed and Confused, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Gran Torino. Apocalypto is by far my favorite as it is just so raw and packed with real emotion and powerful storytelling. Mel Gibson does a phenomenal movie directing this, if you have not seen it I highly recommend it.
The cheetah and I are flying in to watch you do some improv but we are a day early,now you are our tour guide,what are we doing?
Cleveland, Ohio baby. There is no place like this city, this city was built off grit and truly a blue collar town, everything is earned and not given in this city. So many fun things to do here, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 3 major professional sports teams, little Italy,the natural history museum, beautiful scenery right on the lake, breathtaking metro parks. I am proud to say I am from Cleveland, there is no place like this city. I do not know what it is, but I always find my way back, it is truly home.
I like to thank Dominic for his time and patience as I am once again swamped with new films to review and interviews to get out. We wish him great success in his career!
But you can follow Dominic on his various social media outlets:
See which film he is working on his IMDb page.
Follow Dominic on Twitter.
And of course he has a InstaGram.
I also like to address something as well…..Dominic offered to pay me for a interview and I am saddened to say that isn’t the first time I have heard that. While I’m no formal “journalist” and make zero pretense to be one,anyone who would charge a actor,writer or musucian to write a interview or a review is completely unethical and dishonest.
I have seen people offer to do this “service” and have called them out on that. No one will ever have to pay me for something I love to do. I’m sorry Dominic felt he had to pay me,no one should have to pay anyone to tell their story,especially to a small blogger and his cheetah…..rant over. If someone asks you for cash they don’t have your best interests at heart.
As always,I like to thank you all for your support!! Feel free to leave a comment!
9 thoughts on “8 Questions with…………….actor Dominic Cancelliere”
A very hard working man. I like how he is willing to help other actors in the business. I’ll be looking out for him.
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Loved this article, well worded by Dominic. I wish you continued success young man!
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Best article I’ve read about actors, well done by the author and the actor. I really appreciate this young mans vision and drive for success. He has a great look, really liked this post. Thank you for posting
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Thank you Janet….and I agree,I think Dominic has a bright future as he is always looking to hone his skills in his craft. Thank you so much for dropping by!
Good looking kid!!!
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Wow! Very interesting article about his career and about the industry in general. Great questions by Patrick and answers by Dominic. Would love to hear more about his journey. Very inspirational story, I could see Dominic in A game of thrones spinoff. Keep up the good work, I will keep a lookout for you when I am watching a movie.
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