Dream Big. How I got Involved with Acting

The first time I remember wanting to be an actor was after watching Jim Carrey starring in the movie, The Mask.  I watched it on VHS! Do you remember those?

I enjoyed 27970cd5226fcca6a7ab5d534a4c6a63watching Jim in his many roles as I was growing up, and so he was one of the first people that gave me inspiration to become an actor.

But after getting a little older, I realized that “no-one” can actually become an actor..right?  Wrong.  If no-one could become an actor, how are there actors?  ..“Because they are born into it” or because they “got lucky,” is what many people say..  Oh.

That is the mindset when you grow up in a small town that is 2,000+ miles away from Los Angeles.

So I continued living my life as a kid with little responsibilities, focusing on school, athletics, friends and family….and catching crayfish

Kenny Thompson

I’m on the right side holding the crayfish above Peter’s head.  Thank you Ginny for the picture!

The older I got, the more people asked what I wanted to do with my life, because that’s what happens when we get older right.

I never really had a good answer for them.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I think that most people don’t know what they want to do so they just choose a generic field to study and then they follow through with it.  They end up living a 9-5 life that they don’t really enjoy so that they can spend their money on a house that is used for sleeping and a car used for driving to work.

Alan Watts says “That’s just stupid to live like that.  Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

Ask yourself “What do I really want to do with my life?”

After two years of being undeclared in college, I literally had to choose a major, so I chose Sports Administration with a Business minor.  I thought, “Well I like sports so I’ll try this.”  Throughout the next years when I got closer to graduating, the thoughts of what I want to do with my life came to me again.

I thought, “I think I would really like to be an actor.”  But not knowing how I could become an actor was a big obstacle for me.  Philosopher Alan Watts inspired me in his video “What if Money Was No Object?

After listening to many of Watt’s speeches, as well as reading and listening to Ram Dass, Dan Millman, Dale Carnegie, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss & John Lee Dumas, I really knew that I didn’t want to work a 7-3, or 8-4, or 9-5 job that I did not enjoy going to for the next 30-40 years of my life so that I can retire and “be happy.”

(Recent inspiration from: Marcus Aurelius, Eckhart Tolle, Mark Manson, Ryan Holiday, Tony Robbins, Derek Sivers).

So even after knowing I didn’t want to have that 8 hour a day job at somewhere I don’t enjoy, I thought it would be a good idea to get my Masters in Education to become a teacher.

School was never that hard for me, but there were definitely some overwhelming times while I was getting my Masters Degree.  I had the end goal in mind, of getting this degree, so I knew that I was going to get things done whether I felt like it or not.

My First Movie

Anyway right before I began my Master’s Program, there was a movie to be filmed on my Universities Campus (I.U.P.).  That movie was Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and 50 Cent, directed by Antoine Fuqua.

220px-Southpaw_poster

When I found out about this, I asked myself, “How can I get involved with this movie?”  So I googled information about the movie and found that they were looking for people to play as extras in the movie.  I went to an audition for the movie, they asked some questions, took some pictures and I was on my way.

I didn’t receive a call for weeks, and the movie began filming so I thought that I was not going to get a call.

But one day, I was working as a Sports Information employee in the building where Southpaw was being filmed, the K.C.A.C in I.U.P. and I went to a bathroom.  As I was at the urinal, a man came into the bathroom and went to a urinal nearby (there were only 2 or 3 urinals).  So I struck up a conversation, asking him if he was involved with the movie.  He responded by telling me that he was the director.

It was Antoine Fuqua!  The man who directed Training Day with Denzel Washington.

Anyway, I asked him if he needed any help with the movie and that I would work for free.  He asked if I would like to be an actor.  And I jokingly said, “Well I have the face right?”  We both laughed after we washed our hands and were exiting the bathroom.  Once outside the bathroom he called someone over.  They came over and he told them to get my information down and put me in the movie.

I got a call the next day to be a character as a press/media journalist for the movie during the boxing scenes.  I got paid and also got to personally meet 50 Cent, while being in the vicinity of Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams.

Anyone who has worked on a movie set knows that they are long days, usually between 10-14 hours of work, with a lot of chill time in between shooting scenes.  It’s not for everyone, but I loved it.

I had my first taste of what being on the set of a feature film was like.  It was exhilarating.

I had met another actor on set who told me about an agency he was with in Pittsburgh who frequently sent out casting notices, so I got involved with them after working in this film.

They helped me get into two more huge movies and two tv shows.

The movies were: Concussion & Love The Coopers.

I played a NFL Employee in the movie Concussion and a Diner Patron in Love the Coopers.

The TV shows were: Banshee & Mindhunter.

I played an amish protestor as well as a news reporter in the show Banshee (did multiple episodes), and I played a police officer in Mindhunter.

I recently got into a commercial & a paid student film that I will talk about shortly.

Each set is a unique and wonderful experience.  There is no set that is exactly like the next, which makes acting exciting.  It’s also fun when you get to meet some pretty famous people and work with them.

While I was working as a police officer on the set of Mindhunter (which is on Netflix), I was able to meet and shake the hand of David Fincher, the director who also directed Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and many more.

David Fincher was awesome.  Everyone respected him on the set and he directed with a confident and knowing vision.  I was also able to talk a bunch with the two main characters, Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany.  They both were very nice to everyone on set and I could tell they were having fun while being serious about their work.

The food on big sets is also delicious.

Anyway, that all began in 2014 during the filming of Southpaw, which aired the next year in 2015.

2018

The year is now 2018.  I moved to Colorado in 2017 and landed an Acting Teacher job in my fifth month of living here.  I was a full time teacher in PA before coming to CO & substitute teaching every day.  I have a local agent, I filmed a real estate commercial in January that is now airing locally, and did a paid student film this past November which I had a blast doing!  That crew was so fun to work with.

I had an audition today, April 4th, that I think went really well, and I have another audition tomorrow.

A long time ago I had a dream of being an actor.  As a child I had a belief that it was possible to become a paid actor, until I grew up and found out that “no-one” becomes an actor.

I’m here to tell you that it’s possible.

Your dream is possible.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions about acting or how to get involved.  If you want to talk about the movies or shows I’ve been in, message me, & I’d love to hear about your acting stories!  Comment below or email me at Kthompson7814@gmail.com.

Life is NOT about making Money

7

As I was gazing at stars tonight in the pool, I had this thought…

I want to be financially free just like the next person, but this does not mean I should be living my whole life only to make money.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will earn my next dollar.  I think a lot of people do, and I realized that I do not want to be consumed by the thought of money.  Life is so much more than these pieces of paper we use for transactions.

So what is life about?  …It’s NOT about making money.

  • Life is about making the world better than it was before you came to this Earth.
  • Life is about having a positive influence on the lives of others.
  • Life is about finding something you truly love doing, then doing it until you become an expert!
  • Life is about spending time with people who support & love you; stop spending time with people who only bring you down.
  • Life is about the adventure.
  • Life is about finding answers to questions but also accepting that some questions won’t be answered.
  • Life is about Living.

What is life about for you?

Life is not meant to be wasted constantly thinking about the dollar bill.  Or the five, or the ten, or the twenty, fifty, not even the hundred dollar bill.  Crazy huh?

I know that money is a necessity when it comes to paying the bills and raising a family, but you can be pursuing what you love as you make money in another way (A Job) until you start getting paid for what you love doing (Your Captivating Career).

Do you truly want to spend your days consumed by the thought of money?  Or do you want to free your mind and start truly living the life meant to be lived?  The choice is yours…

Get off of the couch and go for a walk.  Call a friend or family member.  Think about how you can positively impact this world, your community, one person, and then do it!  Take time to think of what you love doing, and try to figure out how you can make a job out of it.  Appreciate and be thankful for what you have, for one day, this too shall pass.

Think it’s impossible? It’s not. More and more people are doing what they love. This is a new day, a new age, a new generation. Here is one awesome example of a person who quit their job to follow their passion:

How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World

Please leave a comment below if you’d like.  Let me know what Life is about for you.

     And enjoy each moment of this beautiful mystery we call Life.

Get more free time by using Parkinson’s Law!

1

Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted to its completion.

We work on things with a given deadline, but if we have no deadline we will take up all sorts of time wasting it.

Example—Someone who has a leisure day with no deadlines can spend the whole day writing an easy college essay that is due the next day.  This essay should take no more than one hour, but lets see what happens…

The person wakes up slow, makes coffee and eats, showers, and 1-2 hours is gone.  They look at what they have to do for a few minutes then get distracted with social media and surfing the web for an hour.  Decide to watch Netflix for an hour or two, and the day is almost evening..

..They open up their paper and work on it for about 5 minutes before getting distracted and going back to checking out social media.  This cycle continues for hours until they finally begin and finish the paper around midnight.  The paper would have only taken at most an hour to finish, but this person believed they did not need to finish it first thing in the morning so they took all day to do it.  They did not have a specific deadline for the paper!

This is similar to a typical 9-5 workday where many people babble their days away with coworkers in pointless conversation.  There have been studies done about how much people actually work throughout the day at their 9-5 jobs and the average does actual work-related tasks about half of the time.

Useless meetings, lunch and water breaks, surfing the web and other distracting things take them away from “what they should be doing.”  And if their bosses allow it, I would do it too!  If a boss gives an employee a week to do something, that person will take the full week to lazily do that task, when it could be done in a much shorter time if given a shorter deadline. Check cartoon below↓↓↓

Parkinsons2

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”  I can’t say it enough.

By assigning the right amount go time to a task, we gain back more time and the task will reduce in complexity to its natural state.

Parkinson’s Law works because people give tasks longer than they really need, for different reasons, because they have an inflated idea of how long the task will take to complete.  **You can’t realize how quickly some tasks can be completed until you test this principle.

Work smarter, not harder…when most people are working harder and not smarter.

A practical way for you to complete goals/tasks faster:

  • Make a list of your tasks for the day, week, month, etc.  and divide them up by the amount of time you think it will take to complete them.  Then write down half of that time that you first gave yourself to complete each task!  Make sure you view your deadlines just as crucial as you would if completing it for a boss.
  • Stop checking your phone and email every 15 minutes and take 45-60 minutes of focused time to only work on your main task.

When you begin applying Parkinson’s Law to your life and your tasks, you will begin to be more productive than you’ve ever imagined.

Please share and comment, letting me know your thoughts and how Parkinson’s Law has helped you!