This summer seems to be the summer of new shows–at least for me. And because many of my favorite actors are going to be guest-starring on the new show Dead of Summer, I developed a tremendous interest in the show itself as well as the main cast members of the show. It just so happens that Eli Goree is one of those regular cast members, and I was quite pleased when he set aside some time recently to answer a few questions about his experience as an actor as well as his thoughts about this new Freeform TV series.
RH: What inspired you to become an actor? What kind of training have you received?
EG: I always wanted to be in entertainment since I was very young. I thought that was something I would be good at. While I also would like to do other things, acting is something that I’ve had the opportunity to do, and I’m working hard to make the most of it. I did my training at the Canadian Film Center, but I was acting for quite a few years before that.
One of your best-known roles was from ‘Da Kink in My Hair. Please tell us about your role and experience on that show.
‘Da Kink in My Hair was a great show. It was my first really big network acting job, and working with that cast of amazingly talented black women was a real proving ground. I learned a lot about being professional and being creative. I’m still friends with the producers and the other actors.
I noticed you also had a recurring role on The 100. That show has a very devoted fan base. What was your experience like with the fans of that show?
The fans of The 100 are amazing. They’re so supportive, respectful and committed to the show and to the characters on the show. It’s really been a great experience getting to know some of them now through social media.
I booked the role of Joel on Dead of Summer during pilot season. It was my first pilot of the year, and when I walked out of the casting office not even a few minutes later, I got a call from my agent, telling me that I was their choice.
How would you describe the show and specifically your character without giving anything away?
The show is a teen horror similar to Jason or Friday the 13th movies, but done in a serial episodic format.
What was your experience filming on the set? What was it like working with your co-stars?
If you were trying to convince someone to tune into Dead of Summer, what might you say to capture their interest?
I would just tell them that it’s a great story. The writing team is top-notch. The producers are amazing, and the actors are very talented. And if they like good television, and they’re not afraid to get a little bit scared, they should check it out.
With the rise of social media, does the cast plan on live tweeting during the show?
Yes, so far the cast has been live tweeting during the episodes, and it’s gone very well.
Any other upcoming works you can mention?
I’m still waiting to hear back about a few projects, and I’m also going to be working on some online projects too. Also, I always perform in stand-up comedy clubs whenever I get the chance.
Do you have any plans to write, produce, or direct in the future?
As far as directing, I would say no, that’s not really where my interests lie, but I would like to try out producing at some point.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to work out and go to the gym. I’m a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, so I go to church on Saturdays and spend a lot of time resting on the Sabbath. I also like to spend time with friends, read, and watch sports. I like to talk with my family, to travel, and to eat. There’s so much that I like to do that I’m a pretty busy guy.
I must admit I was quite intrigued by Eli’s outlook on this business as well as how he occupies his free time. While I have previously seen him here and there in a few things, it is this show (which is a step outside my comfort zone) that has brought his talent and name to light for me. While no one knows if this show will ultimately be renewed or cancelled, there is no doubt that Eli is continuing his steady climb up the ladder of success due to his willingness to play each role with true professionalism and stamina. Furthermore, his versatility is one that will continue to make him marketable throughout what we all hope will be a long and fruitful career. He is learning to harness the power of the social media and his fans, and that in itself is something that will continue to serve him well throughout the course of his chosen profession. Be sure that you check out his various links below in order to avoid missing one step of his fascinating career.
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