It is great to have you back for another installment of “Local Independent Film Spotlight” (LIFS). This week I am pleased to present David Walsh.
I was very impressed with David the first time I witnessed him in action at the table read, led by filmmaker Eulonda Kay Lea, for her impending feature film. I had read the script ahead of the event, and David matched the lead character impeccably, as he brought it to life. When I met the affable gentleman following the reading performances, I said to myself; “That David Walsh is going to be a headliner someday”.
Read on to get to know David, and you will see what I mean. I can already guess, that you wouldn’t be able to help being swept up by his self-possessed charm and talent, not to mention learn a great deal from his experiences.
David, how are you doing – having a busy acting life?
I am well, not terribly busy on the acting front, but am in the process of launching a career doing voiceovers.
Voiceovers huh? That’s a special sort of performance in itself. How long have you been acting professionally?
Well there was about a 10 year gap that I wasn’t acting at all—just had a demanding day job that didn’t allow me the luxury. But I would say I have spent 10-15 years doing stage work, both paid and unpaid, professional and ‘non-professional’.
What inspired you to get involved with this craft?
I think it was a combination of a few things: 1) an affinity for foreign languages and cultures, resulting in a curiosity about people in general; 2) a love of films; 3) I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t want to know what it was like to “walk in someone else’s shoes”.
Where did you secure your performance training?
I took a few acting classes in college and then just started doing theater, whether it was paid or not. Work is work, experience is experience, and that’s the best training you can get. I would also say that doing as much Improv work as possible really helps free me as an artist and helps build confidence.
I agree! Nothing compares to “hands-on” training. Please fill us in a bit on your resume.
Most of my experience has been on stage. I’ve done a lot of character parts and supporting roles, a fair amount of Shakespeare, some chorus work in musicals ( not a triple threat here, but can carry a tune, I guess ;-)) Love to do ensemble work and am a big supporter of “the supporting actor”, as I feel they have less of the script to rely on in developing character.
What is the most memorable performance of your career?
I think that’s a toss up between a comic role I had many years ago on stage as Leon in “The Wake of Jamey Foster” and a role that I performed last year in a reading of a dramedy screenplay by a local screenwriter.
Do you have a future dream role that you desire to get the part for?
That role I mentioned for the dramedy screenplay—I just feel I empathized, understood and loved the character, even though on the surface we aren’t that similar.
What is it about the local, DMV independent film industry that you absolutely love, and applaud?
I think that although that market had grown in this area, it is still fairly friendly and not cut-throat. I think more and more people are participating and this ultimately only be a good thing as far as diversity of cultures and viewpoints.
Do you have any criticism about the local film industry? Where is there room for improvement?
I think that whatever red tape can be eliminated and incentives given to production companies, while maintaining the security that many landmarks require should be encouraged.
If you had the opportunity to pack your bags today, and fulfill your acting career, for the remainder of your life without any gaps, in Hollywood, would you leave this area?
Well I’ve been in DC for half my life and have established community here. That said I am not ‘married’ to DC and would consider all options if such an opportunity arose.
Do you have a specific genre of film that you enjoy acting in the most? Comedy? Suspense? Horror? Romance? Other?
I think my favorite genre would be comedy, but good comedies are hard to come by and sometimes I feel I have the right timing, and sometimes I’m off.
What acting performance are you gearing up for these days?
I have an audition on Tuesday for a group that will be doing performances in various media—on film, voice overs, and stage.
Do you enjoy writing, and developing projects as well? If so, are you currently working on one?
I do dabble a bit, procrastinate a bit and pick up the laptop again. I have both a comedy and a dramedy love story I am working on.
What advice would you give someone just starting out as an actor in the DMV area, and has big hopes and dreams to make a name for themselves.
I would say to join The Actors Center, Women in Film and Video (not just for women!) and join any open Facebook group for actors/filmmakers that you can. To take whatever work you feel would be worth your time—paid or not. Take as many classes as you can, particularly Improv. One can never learn enough.
As we draw near to Oscar night on February 22nd, do you have a favorite film, and actors whom you are rooting for?
Of the nominated films I’ve seen, so far I really loved “The Grand Budapest Hotel”—it was my kind of quirky, and ‘everyone’ one was in it. I also loved “Birdman” and the way it was directed—Keaton and Emma Stone, and Edward Norton were great. I haven’t seen “Still Alice” yet but Julianne Moore deserves an Oscar in general. If Patricia Arquette were not in the supporting actress category, I would give the award to (Meryl) Streep for “Into the Woods”—there’s virtually nothing she can’t do.
Please describe yourself in 3 words.
Sensitive, Curious, Funny
How can readers connect with you, and keep up with your wonderful accomplishments?
As of now, Facebook, but will be relaunching my website soon.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me David. I’ve always enjoyed working with you. Any final words?
Thank you, Diane! Keep fighting the good fight and always use your creative side!