Interview With Actor scOtt summitt, “Runaway Romance”

By Ruth on January 15, 2018 in Interview, movie, television
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A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of watching Runaway Romance on UPtv. I had already interviewed the two female leads (Danielle Chuchran and Galadriel Stineman), and I decided to reach out in hopes of interviewing a few others involved with this enchanting project. In the case of scOtt summitt, I felt like I knew him from somewhere, but I struggled to recall how or where. After looking him up, I realized we have known each other on Twitter for a while, but I believe this was the first time I actually saw him in a production. He quickly agreed to an interview, and I can inviolably state that he is one of the most refreshingly original people I have ever had the honor of interviewing. (And no, his name is NOT spelled incorrectly. That is his signature way of spelling it both professionally and personally.)

RH: Why did you decide to become an actor?

ss: I honestly think it’s because I was programmed for the job! {LOL} I was a shy, introverted kid growing up, an Air Force brat, so I played a lot by myself. I learned to entertain myself by using my imagination and creativity to make up stories and games. I developed a fertile imagination because I lived in my head so much. I began learning the craft by doing plays in high school and community theatre. When I found my dad’s old Super 8 camera, I made short little movies in my backyard with the neighborhood kids. Mostly silly fantasy, comedy, spy movies, nothing Oscar worthy. But I was learning about acting and making films, which I just naturally gravitated to. Funny how what you did as a kid sets you up for a career in your adult life… 🙂

What was your first professional job and what are your memories of it?

My first paying gig was playing in a live murder-mystery dinner theatre production. It was silly and fun, and I was paid a whopping $50 for my performance. I remember proudly taking that check home and thinking “I’m a professional actor. I can get paid for doing what I love!”

Detroiters
Comedy Central

Please tell us a little about this series Two Doors Down and your involvement with it.

TWO DOORS DOWN is a sit-com web series I co-created and co-produced by a fellow actor friend, Louie Cowan. We’d worked together on a film I was asked to help cast, and we really had good creative chemistry. Louie had an idea and we developed it into a TV pilot first, then shot a season’s worth of episodes. It was fun because we improvised a lot of the dialog on the show. It’s a comedy about divorced parents trying to co-parent their kid, and they end up doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. I co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced the project, and it was a joy to work with a great bunch of people. I love a creative collaboration! 🙂

Believe

You were a part of the film Believe. How did you get involved with that movie and what can you tell us about your character as it relates to the story? 

BELIEVE was a wonderful film to work on. While it’s got a Christmas theme, the film has a wonderful, uplifting message about taking care of your fellow man. It touches on some really timely subjects, and I was blessed to be a part of the cast. I play a character named Charlie, a simple man with a big heart. He’s the devoted right-hand man of the lead character, Matthew Peyton (played by LA actor/producer Ryan O’Quinn). We had a really nice scene near the beginning of the film where my character tells his boss he has faith in him, and that kind of sets up the theme of the whole movie.

Believe

The casting happened so fast! Literally within twenty-four hours. My agent sent me an audition notice on a Sunday; I stayed up all night to work on the scenes which I self-taped from my home studio. I sent it in to the LA casting director the next day and got the call that very night! By the end of the week, I was in Bristol, Virginia for a month-long shoot, working with a wonderful cast of talented people. I’m proud of being a part of this film because so many people have come up to me and said how much the film meant to them. It’s so humbling when your work touches other people’s hearts. That’s why I love to do the work I do.

You can see BELIEVE on Netflix and several other VOD platforms now.

I believe you are known for being a part of Boy Band. I am not familiar with this work, so please tell us a little about it and what your involvement is.

This was a fun project! BOY BAND is a comedic mockumentary style film about the aging members of a famous boy band from the 90’s trying to make their big comeback. I got to play an obnoxious morning DJ who interviews the band in their youth and again years later. I get cast for a lot of comedy work, so I really enjoyed playing the character. I used to be a DJ when I worked many moons ago at my college radio station, so again, what I did in my youth comes back to serve me in a future role. It was nostalgic to be back in the radio booth behind the mic again. I get cast to do a lot of comedy projects, and I love a chance to be silly and make people laugh. The film’s in post-production now, so it will hopefully be completed and released later on this year.

Professionally, you first came to my attention as a result of seeing you in the recent UPtv film Runaway Romance. What did you enjoy most about being a part of that production and crafting your character? Any special behind-the-scenes moments?

Thank you so much ~ I’m humbled that you enjoyed my work. I had so much fun playing Doyle, the reality TV producer/director, in this movie. The cast and crew were really hardworking and a fantastic bunch to work with. I think my favorite behind-the-scenes moment was when Brian Herzlinger, our director, really let me have freedom in creating Doyle’s character. I’ve got a background in improv from studying with teachers from Second City and The Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, so I love it when a director lets me use my improv skills to have fun and play around in the scenes a bit.

Runaway Romance

I auditioned for Brian and George Shemiah (the producer) at my agent’s office in Louisville, and I had so much fun playing the scenes for them. I wasn’t sure if I’d gotten the part, so I didn’t put too much attention on the end result. I just wanted to have fun with it. Later on the set, Brian told me how much they enjoyed the “lightness” I brought to the part. He really let me have fun creating the role of Doyle on camera. I even made up some lines that ended up in the final print — but I won’t tell you which ones! {LOL} They were a joy to work with, and I certainly hope to work with them again in the future. I’d love them to bring Doyle back for the sequel, but we’ll see what happens. Anything’s possible, right? 😉

Any other upcoming works you can mention?

Orphan Horse

I just wrapped up shooting on a family film called ORPHAN HORSE, starring Jon Voight, in Kentucky just before Christmas. I was cast in a role I don’t usually get to play, and it was a personal and professional challenge for me. My character is a rather silent, serious, and abusive character, and I really had to dig in deep as an actor to play a rather nasty character. That’s what I love about the whole acting thing…the creative challenges each role brings and how you grow as an artist. That film should be released later this year.

You have been involved with a lot of independent films in a variety of different roles in front of the camera and behind the camera. What are the benefits and drawbacks of doing indie film?

I love indie films because they allow you to have a lot of creative freedom in the stories you’re telling and the roles you get to play. I’ve produced, written, directed, and acted in many independent projects, and I’m thankful for the education it’s afforded me in my acting career. You can really learn how to make things work creatively when you don’t have a huge budget to work with. But then, a lot of indie films have great stories with wonderful roles you can really sink your teeth into as an actor.

Ass & The Elephant

The only drawback I see in indie film is that they don’t get nearly as much attention as the big humongous Hollywood films with their zillion-dollar budgets. There are so many wonderful indie films being made with modest budgets that people might not get to see because they have a limited run in the theaters or don’t make it past the festival circuit. But sometimes, you’ll see an independent project break out into the mainstream and get big studio support for a wider release. I love it when that happens! I always cheer for the underdog. 🙂

As someone who doesn’t fit the typical profile of a “Hollywood lead,” how have you worked to build your career? What obstacles have you faced, and how have you overcome them? 

I’ve worked as a character actor for a long time, and I’m blessed and lucky I get to pursue this career. I always try to stay humble and grateful for the work I get to do and what I do. When I started out, I tried soooo hard to fit into other people’s perceptions; it drove me crazy and made me so unhappy when I didn’t get cast in roles I knew I could play. I finally learned to accept my unique style and look and see it as a big advantage, instead of a hindrance.

Aidan 5

Hollywood has enough pretty people in it, so I’m always happy when a director takes a chance on an actor like me who doesn’t quite fit that mold. Lots of casting directors and filmmakers have given me opportunities to really shine in roles, and I’m grateful to each and every one of them. I always encourage young actors to celebrate their unique qualities and work on being the best actor they can be. It can be tough in this business, so you really have to LOVE what you do. You’ll be told “no” a million times before you get the one person who “gets” you and says “YES!” 🙂

Celebrate your unique qualities, and trust that the right roles will come along at the right time. In this age of YouTube, Vimeo, and digital content, actors have even more opportunities to create their own projects and short films and really get their work out there for the right people to see. Learn, collaborate with fellow actors and filmmakers, work together to make your own projects. Be patient, work hard, and think of your acting pursuits as a journey. 🙂

on set Threshold

What do you like to do to relax and unwind?

When I’m not performing, I find things that inspire me and feed my creativity. If the weather’s good, I love to strap on my hiking boots and take long walks out in nature. A nice long nature walk does wonders for clearing your head and healing the heart. Photography is another love of mine. I take lots of pictures with my smartphone, which allows me to capture some creative views of Life. I just backed up two years of photos and video from my phone! When I looked at them, I realized it was an interesting visual diary of my misadventures from the last couple of years. I also love listening to all kinds of music, writing, and spending hours in art galleries and museums. All these things really feed my creativity and it’s all so inspiring. Find what makes your creative Heart sing and it will lead you to wondrous places you could never imagine. 🙂

The Secret Whispers of Mr. Feathers

When I have the opportunity to feature actors like scOtt, I am reminded of why I began interviewing actors and other industry professionals in the first place. While I absolutely adore chatting with the leads and the “big names” when I am able, those celebrities often receive innumerable offers for press, interviews, and features; moreover, their fans regularly propel their careers to the pinnacle. I have discovered many unusually humble and unique people amongst the upper echelon of Hollywood and Vancouver, but nothing warms my heart quite as much as highlighting special people like scOtt. scOtt is one of those original performers who is content with who he is as a person and as an entertainer, and he readily celebrates his distinctive attributes. He is the perfect living example of the old Dr. Seuss adage that argues, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” scOtt faces every occasion with an attitude of gratitude that frequently supersedes the gratitude depicted by the “pretty people” who regularly receive their offers on a golden platter. scOtt understands and appreciates his role in this oftentimes fickle entertainment universe, and when he has the chance to break out and attempt something a little out of his usual wheelhouse, he couldn’t be happier. But at the end of the day, his authenticity, positivity, and pragmatism are what guide his decisions and how he chooses to live his life. Thankfully, he has been afforded the amazing prospect of doing what he loves for a living!

So if you get the chance to watch Runaway Romance, I cannot recommend it highly enough. While I haven’t seen scOtt’s other works, I have no doubt he is just as stupendous in those other works, and I am definitely anticipating his upcoming performances as well. In the meantime, I would invite you to examine all of scOtt’s links below and maybe even follow him on social media if you are interested. I’ve always been partial to character actors, even as I was growing up, and it’s a sincere and pleasant treat to find someone in this day and age like scOtt who not only characterizes these supporting roles with phenomenal giftedness but also embraces these roles, thus bringing something fun, poignant, and enjoyable to each character.

FOLLOW scOtt

Website

Twitter

IMDB

 

About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

4 Comments

  1. Linda Manns Linneman January 16, 2018 Reply

    I am so thankful you got to do the interview. Interesting people. It is interesting to know that they enjoyed doing the acting from a young age. It is great to have a job you so enjoy and get paid for it. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless

  2. Molli Taylor January 16, 2018 Reply

    i love his perspective because of his variety of experience!

    • Author
      Ruth January 16, 2018 Reply

      Me too Molli!

  3. denise January 17, 2018 Reply

    I love learning about the characters who add so much to a movie or tv series.

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