Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barbizon of Akron Interviews One Of Their Own That's Now Living & Working In Los Angeles!

Barbizon of Akron and Pro-Model & Talent's own, Brian Byrnes, originally from Strongsville, Ohio, now makes his home in Los Angeles where he stays extremely busy!

While Brian may not have celebrity status (yet!!!), he is one very busy working actor that all of us here at Barbizon of Akron and Pro-Model & Talent are very proud to associate our name with!

A few of Brian’s most recent commercials you can catch him in includes: Cisco (Paper Scissors), Target, AAMCO, Family Game Night, Aperol Spritz, Cottenelle for Target, Florida Prepaid College Plans, Planned Parenthood, Heineken, Wagnar Paint, You Mail, Chevy Trailblazer and Shell Oil… Whew what an impressive list and this is only a very small sampling of his work.

We reached out to Brian for a short interview, asking him about his experience in the industry in general and what it's like to be an actor in Los Angeles. We also picked his brain for any words of advice/wisdom that he could share with up-and-coming models/actors starting out in the industry... like yourself!

Here is what Barbizon of Akron and Pro-Model & Talent's own Brian Byrnes had to say...

People always ask us here at Barbizon of Akron and Pro-Model & Talent Mgmt. how to get into the acting industry. So, how did you get started acting?
Brian: I grew up in theatre both as a youth and as an adult, so I knew I loved acting. Pro-Model and Talent helped me to hone my skills and then I attended the IMTA Convention with Pro-Model and Talent Mgmt.

Do you feel what you learned at Barbizon of Akron gave you a good foundation?
Brian: Most definitely yes, to date I still keep in contact with everyone over at the Agency. I visit whenever I am visiting my family in Ohio. Open arms and smiling faces, it’s what I remember.

Tell us about your favorite and least favorite jobs to date?
Brian: My favorite commercial would have to be for Aperol Spritz that was shot in South America. I got to work on a beautiful beach with some fantastic locals and crowd surfed for 30 minutes during the shoot, good times! My least favorite would have been a commercial for Amstel Light. I had to do all of these crazy neck movements to simulate birds. It was 100 degrees out in downtown Los Angeles and I was not getting the bird movements down the way the Director wanted. I could tell the Director and the other 40 people on set were getting pretty frustrated with me, as time is money. Luckily I finally got it right and the commercial was a wrap.

What is the most amount of money you have made for one commercial?
That is an easy question… $120,000.00 for a 30 second Crown Royal commercial. Have to say I loved that commercial!!

You recently filmed a movie in Hawaii. Can you tell us all about it, as this is your first film to date?
The movie is called 6 Days in Paradise. It was just released in Los Angeles and will be released in select U.S. cities soon! It’s about the lives of a reformed gambler that is searching for his ex-wife and daughter, an amateur private-eye that the gambler hires, an assassin on a mission, and a recruiter of mixed martial arts fighters that intertwine when they come to Hawaii to accomplish their respective objectives. I play Eddie Masters who is hired to try to locate the ex-wife and daughter in Hawaii. The best part of shooting was the fight scenes with this MMA (Mixed Marital Arts) guy and working with Michael Madsen.

How did it feel to see yourself on the big screen?
It was a thrill to see it in the theater. I’m pretty hyper-critical so I could only watch it once and never go back because I would pick it apart. When I watched the credits I was smiling though, that was pretty wild.

So many people feel they don’t need training to be successful. What is your take on training when it comes to this industry?
I feel training is most important. It keeps you learning and on your toes, it’s crucial. I booked my first national commercial after I took a commercial workshop. You only have seconds once you are in the room and if you are looking at the copy etc. and don’t know what you are doing, you are out of the running before you even begin. I get callbacks about 60% of the time. For some of the commercials the casting directors call me in directly if I fit the look they are looking for, I book the project and it never becomes an open audition. A 60% callback rate is definitely high, especially in Los Angeles but they know when they call me that I am a professional. I’m on time (actually always 30 minutes early) and I will get the job done right.

What is your favorite part of being an actor in Los Angeles?
While I love acting, my favorite part is being on a set. There is just nothing else like it.

Since so many people will never be in Los Angeles and have the opportunity to be on the set of shooting a national commercial, can you tell us what it is like?
A day on set for commercials is definitely an interesting and exciting one. Every shoot I have a little ritual before the actual shoot. I arrive at least 30 minutes early because in the crew parking lot where everybody meets is a food truck and they serve a beautiful breakfast. I sit down with all of the “fixings” and get to talking to the crew members or meet the other talent that are there. Then I check in and I have an aide that is with me the entire day from that point on. Usually the next stop is the make-up/hair and wardrobe trailers. That can move quickly or I can be there for 3 hours waiting to get everything done. If it is an all day shoot, we break for lunch where they truly have yet another feast waiting. After that it is usually back to the make-up/hair and wardrobe trailers to get any needed touch ups done. Once the last shot is done for the day…it is time for a wrap party. While the wrap party is fun, it is also great when that last shot is done and the whole cast and crew clap for you and tell you that it was a job well done. One of the commercials I filmed called for spending the entire day shooting in the desert for 8 hours in 115 degree heat, everyone ran to jump in the pool, clothes and all, when that shoot wrapped up. I can tell you they treat you extremely well on set, they want to make sure you are comfortable and safe, and you never forget those experiences. I love the jobs that I do that I travel out of the country, usually for about seven days. I have been to some great places, met great local people and the cool thing is someone else is paying for my trip in addition I’m being paid really well on top of it.

Any last words of advice?
Good luck to everyone who is pursuing their dream. To make it a reality you have to be practical and persistent. Every person and every experience from that first day at Barbizon of Akron/Pro-Model and Talent Management to present day has influenced my path. It is what you make of those relationships/experiences and how you conduct yourself, especially when the road is challenging.

Brian has recently signed with Kohl Mgmt. out of Los Angeles. In doing this Brian is fully moving into TV & Film, while he of course loves the national commercial market he feels he is ready to move into other venues. With this manager behind him we look forward to him doing even more great things out in Los Angeles.

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