THE BEST ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE IT AS AN ACTOR (FROM AN ACTOR)
Your Hollywood Pro: Tell us a little about yourself, eh?
Craig Hamm: Well, I am a military brat who has lived across the world. Three different countries, 13 different states… basically tons of traveling! I attended school at the University of Louisville, ran track and doubled in Finance and Accounting. I kind of got started in the entertainment world while residing in Louisville; modeling, print, runway, commercials, you name it! It wasn’t until I moved out here to Los Angeles that I became immersed in the acting world, in the efforts to make a career out of it. And the journey still continues! Lol!
YHP: What’s the biggest life changing moment for you since you’ve started:
Craig Hamm: It was last year when I submitted for the CBS Drama Diversity Showcase and made it to the 2nd round. I literally heard about it the night before, downloaded the sides, and reached out to a few buddies of mine: Craig Michaelson to help me record and submit my self-tape, Jordan Picken to borrow his car for a road trip, and Jay Jempson to crash on his couch after the 5 hour commute, lol!!! (Thanks friends!) Nonetheless, I went in bright and early the next morning to audition in front of their board and gave a really truthful performance, that I thought would help me move on the next round. I didn’t make it, but when I learned that 10,000 people nationwide auditioned, and I made it to 2nd round, I got that feeling so many search for out here in Hollywood… I belonged here.
YHP: What’s the most unique day-to-day encounter that’s specific to shooting a commercial versus other acting gigs?
Craig Hamm: You know I’d have to say traffic — Hurry up and wait, right!?!?!? Hahaha!!! No, no, on a serious note, I’d have to say the encounters I make everyday in LA, whether it be at work, hanging with friends, on set, or on the daily commute through life, everyone is the same. We’re all just trying to make it. You’ll encounter different levels of personalities, good and bad, and how you deal with each one is only going to determine how far you go. Work hard, be courteous and continue to put good energy out there and the rest will take care of itself.
YHP: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in the Entertainment Business?
Craig Hamm: (It) is more or less what helps me support myself in between each gig: side jobs. As cliché as it sounds, I serve/bartend on the side and sometimes balancing shifts with auditions with bookings with last minute auditions and bookings and multiple auditions and bookings… see where this is going? Lol. The point is, there’s always a constant battle that goes on in your head. Am I making the right decision? Should I really be working here? Am I wasting my time? They never end. And even after I’ve made it out of this chapter of my life, I’m sure the questions will only continue. But I just keep pushing forward and believing in my dreams. Because there are definitely times when you know what hits the fan and you’re left trying to identify and pick up the pieces. Have a moment, recognize where you are, where you’ve been, and then with everything that you have left in you, turn towards where you want to be and just…keep…swimming!
I listen to different actors, actresses, motivational speakers, industry heads and whoever else has something knowledgeable that I can analyze and make it my own. I always remain optimistic, challenge myself to get into uncomfortable situations, but most of all, I am the biggest supporter of me. I never put myself down and I never allow myself to be afraid of failure. So many will tell you what they think, how they feel, what you should be doing—and most of the time, it’s your own friends and family, which can hurt! But I always remind myself that most people won’t be able to see what I see—and that’s ok—because it’s not their dreams. If I want them to see “the light” I am the only one who can flip that switch. End of story.
One book I would recommend the Hollywood Pro crowd to bookmark would be “Acting In Film” by Michael Caine. Absolutely useful and important read. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone but I will say that one thing that stood out to me is the reference he makes about life in relation to auditions. Every second, every moment, every breath you have ever lived, experienced or taken is all apart of one big audition. Not to make it seem as though you’re never alone, but you should always be mindful of who you are and how you treat the world around you, because you never know who you’ll be working with or for in the future. Truly wise words.
YHP: What movie has impacted you the most?
Craig Hamm: So I’m going to cheat on this one and give you THREE films that have impacted my life because what would Hollywood be without breaking the rules a little bit, Lol! The first would be Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory because it taught me at an adolescent age to believe in the unimaginable and to dream big. The second would be Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, because it’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!!! But seriously, who doesn’t wish that they were that cool in high school!?!?!? Ferris showed me how safe I played it in high school and helped me realize that I do NOT want the rest of my life to be remembered as not taking chances. The third film, surprisingly, is William Shakespeare’s: Romeo + Juliet (Leonardo DiCaprio). I’d have to say that this is the one film that sparked my interest in acting. Something about this modern version of Shakespeare made sense for me. I’d often watch it through College, where, although I was working in the comparable fields to what I was studying (Finance & Accounting), so many of us were uncertain as to what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. Somehow this film was speaking to my subconscious, guiding me along as I aimlessly kept searching for understanding and truth. Some may find it hard to imagine one could get such an epiphanic message from this film, but for me it was the chisel to my Michelangelo and the paint brush to my Picasso. It just. Made Sense.
YHP: What’s next for you?
Craig Hamm: Disneyland! Lol. I’m reading a couple scripts at the moment, for some work that I’m pretty excited about that hopefully will touch some people, should it make it to the silver screen. Still auditioning daily, training for physical fitness and road races. I actually made an ambitious goal for myself to do an American Ninja Warrior competition in the next couple of years—Hahaha! So be on the lookout for me in 2020! And more importantly, I’m always looking for more ways to get involved in the community and the improvement of our environment, so if you have any suggestions or opportunities, I am all ears!
First and foremost, THANK YOU Hollywood Pro and Hollywood Pro listeners/readers for taking the time hear a little bit about me!!!Those who are looking to know more, keep in touch, etc. can find me at the sites and locations listed below!
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