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Spotlight on Actor... J. Teddy Garces

J. Teddy Garces: An actor determined to carve his way with sheer Vision and Drive

j teddy garcesTeddy Garces is an actor, and a good one.  He is one of those pieces that we enjoy living vicariously through when we watch a film or play.  No, he is not a household name and no he is not a celebrity or what we may consider to be a star… just yet.  Who he is, is someone who caught my attention when I saw him in a very popular web series called The Guild starring Felicia Day.  J. Teddy played an extremely hysterical character called Bruiser who was just as aggressive as he was hilarious.  After researching him online I saw that he had amassed a pretty diverse body of work that included theatre, film and T.V. credits.  With a glance at his resume I noticed that I did in fact see some of the other things he has been in (ie;  iCarly and Under The Same Moon).  Despite this I hadn’t heard much of him.  I then began to wonder; how many more are out there just like him?  What makes an actor continue to move forward in such a rigorously competitive field?  To persist in an industry, that without reservation, I can say is the most difficult to find success in. What drives him or her to keep doing what they love doing so much despite the fact that falling into obscurity in this profession is much more likely to happen than falling upon stardom?  What does it take day after day to literally go up against hundreds for a role? That is, if you are even invited to audition for said role.  How does an actor not allow the bureaucracy we call “casting” to diminish his aspirations and lead him into that obscurity most artists face every day?  There may only be one J. Teddy Garces but there must be thousands in his position, or maybe not.  According to him “the position you place yourself in begins in your mind….”  Nevertheless, we will allow J. Teddy to expand on all of this himself.  We were able to catch up with him for a very candid interview.  What we found was a surprisingly charming, very direct, intelligent and focused actor who takes his craft seriously, loves what he does and waits for no one.

ACTOR POINT:  So finally we get to catch up!  How are you?

J. TEDDY:  I’m great man.  How’ve you been? 

ACTOR POINT: Same here doing just fine.  Congratulations on Season 3 of The Guild, you were by far my favorite of the Anarchy members.

J. TEDDY: Thank you. That’s very cool of you to say!  I was a part of an awesome cast so I appreciate that.  I had a great time with it.

 ACTOR POINT: Well you’re pretty busy am I right?

J. TEDDY:  Yeah the past 2 months have been a bit crazy but still manageable.  

ACTOR POINT:  Busy is a good thing though isn’t it.

J. TEDDY: Yeh it is actually, I never complain, I’m in love with what I do.

ACTOR POINT:  So can you share what you’ve been up to or is it off limits?

J. TEDDY:  Of course yes it’s cool. Well most recently I produced and wrote a New Media series that I also act in. It’s called “Sound Advice”.  We just wrapped the first 2 episodes and the footage looks awesome. I also worked on 3 other projects earlier in the year.  Some I can talk about and others I can’t say much for now. 

ACTOR POINT: So can you tell us more about what you wrote?

J. TEDDY:  Absolutely. I wrote a role for myself as a dysfunctional therapist. (Laughs) The tone is completely cynical, rude and intelligent at the same time.  It’s my baby.

ACTOR POINT:  That sounds like a blast.  So who’s involved and what can we expect. When can we see it?

J. TEDDY: Well I actually began writing it last year and approached a core group of people that I wanted to work with.  I funded it myself and had an amazing time every step of the way. Sean Becker (The Guild) directed it.  He’s so good at what he does man.  I also had the most amazing guest stars.  It’s pretty neat.  I’m anticipating the release of the first two episodes this summer.  I’m really excited about it all.

ACTOR POINT:  So this means that you’re not just an actor you are also a producer and writer.  

J. TEDDY: I guess so yeah but for me it’s more about career autonomy and the integrity of my vision though.  Those things are infinitely more important to me than titles.

ACTOR POINT:  So what was the inspiration behind your vision?

J.TEDDY:  I enjoy the field of psychology and its varying schools of thought.  It’s just a fascinating subject to me.  I’ve studied it as well.  Anyway I wanted to write something for myself that I connected to on an intellectual level but that I can make fun of as well.  I just took everything I knew on the subject and turned it on its head.  The result was an absurd character by the name of Dr. Theodore W. Evington III.

ACTOR POINT:  Do you feel like you are always this driven to create or is this something you had to do because this was a role that has not come your way as an actor?

J.TEDDY:   I’m constantly looking for ways to grow and get more.  The fast answer is yes to both questions.  But regardless, I’m always this persistent and driven.  I don’t mean that in the greedy way, I mean it in an ambitious go out and get what you want kind of way.

ACTOR POINT:  It sounds like the attitude every person needs in order to be successful.

J. TEDDY: Maybe it is. All I know is I’ve always wanted to expand creatively.  I saw this time as the perfect opportunity to write something exclusively for me.  The playing field is so much more leveled right now, if I want to produce or write I can.  Nothing is stopping me. There aren’t any excuses you know. 

ACTOR POINT:  Would you say that there is somewhat of a positioning strategy behind everything you are doing now.

J. TEDDY:  Absolutely.  The Position you place yourself in begins in your mind.  In my head I see myself where I want to be.  That mental image carries precise detail and anyway, ambiguity with myself makes me nauseous.  I don’t like it.

ACTOR POINT:  So you truly feel like complete control is the way to approach things.

J. TEDDY:  That’s exactly it.  Look, I’m an actor, that fact won’t ever change.  I’m going to be considered for roles and get hired for the job and conversely I will be considered and get passed on.  It’s just the nature of the business.  However, as far as waiting for the perfect role to pop up miraculously someday, I’m not counting on that. I don’t play the wait game with my career, no one should.  If the role I want isn’t available for me, I’m going to create it one way or another.

ACTOR POINT:  Well you certainly know what you want.

J. TEDDY: Without a doubt.  I try to remain humble but I’m not blind.  The industry is shifting so fast and it just gave so many people like me the opportunity of changing the speed and direction of their career. 

ACTOR PONT: You sound so intense I love that! 

J. TEDDY:  Ah it’s the New Yorker in me man.  You get me started talking about things I’m passionate about and forget about it! (laughs) but seriously all I’m saying is that when it’s all said and done, creating your own content means branding yourself, empowering yourself and controlling your path.

ACTOR POINT:  And you definitely know how to brand yourself…

J. TEDDY:  I think it has a lot to do with just knowing myself.  Knowing my flaws and my strengths and just owning them.  Deep inside I’m really still that third grader who missed the entire year because he was constantly getting sent downstairs for all the comedy and making everyone laugh.  On the flip side I also have a very physically intense and aggressive side that I can facilitate effortlessly.  I guess they go hand in hand.

ACTOR POINT:  You know we have to ask you about your physical self.  I can’t imagine you don’t approach your fitness with the same determination that you do everything else.

J. TEDDY:  Ah the fitness questions, no problem. Yeah I do approach workouts the same as everything else.  I like intensity.

ACTOR POINT:  I can tell you do from your pictures online, you are in phenomenal shape!  How do you find the time to work out?  Do you ever slow it down and what do you do for fun?

J.TEDDY:  I’ve always tried to take things one breath at a time but I think I breathe a bit faster than normal (laughing).  I do love down time but I’m very physical and somehow I always end up in a gym or at the park! It’s just so hard for me to be still!  When I do have time for fun, I love the movies, music and the beach or a sporting event, that sort of thing. Oh and playing pool, although I’m horrible at it.

ACTOR POINT:   What would you tell an aspiring actor coming up in today’s industry?

J.TEDDY:  Don’t do it unless it’s a need.  Not a want but a need.  It’s gotta be the equivalent of water to the human body.   You have to work so damn hard.  Not to mention that the competition is ferocious.  If you want to be an actor because you want to try it or be famous you’re doing yourself and others an injustice.  Try something else if that’s the case. 

ACTOR POINT: Wow! Well there you have it huh.

JTEDDY: This is me being nice.

ACTOR POINT: And for those that are serious.

J. TEDDY: If you are serious, take a good class.  Take it seriously, start off on the stage, cultivate your craft, read plenty of books, work on yourself.  Try to create your own path and be ready for some disappointment.  Seriously. Wake up the next day wash, rinse and repeat.  If you got the stomach you’ll be fine, if not you’re done. Period.

ACTOR POINT:  Well you’re not short on honesty are you?

J. TEDDY: Neither are the people they’ll eventually have to stand in front of.

ACTOR POINT:  Let me ask you this...  How do you feel a career as an actor is different than the other careers out there?

J. TEDDY:  Wow. Umm… Well, when you’re a firefighter, people never want to know what you’ve done before or where they can see you next you know?  They never say “Hey I loved the last fire you fought it was awesome!  When is the next one”? (Laughing)  It’s funny but as an actor you have to expect that people will ask you about your career much more than the careers of those who are actually saving lives. 

ACTOR POINT: That’s a very interesting point.  You’re almost expected to be an open book while your other professional counterparts, who are just as worthy of the attention, are not given that expectancy.

J. TEDDY:  It’s true.  Also, people can be very critical and harsh you know. The entertainer in general is almost always expected to be able to take crap no matter what.  I guess sometimes people feel we’re not human you know.  We’re a bit more of a target in that sense.  It’s a tough business.

ACTOR POINT:  Well since you mentioned it, is there anything else we can hope to see you in soon.

J. TEDDY:  Yeah, this summer should be busy.  I have a real cool indie called “Mid-Life Gangster” and a Sci-Fi piece called “The Last King Blood” both due out soon.  I’m also on schedule to shoot 2 other features as well.  

ACTOR POINT:  Anything for the web?

J. TEDDY:  Well as far as New Media content; I have my own series, “Sound Advice”,  another series called “The Casting Office” that I will reoccur in, and a couple of guest appearances on other web shows coming out as well.

ACTOR POINT:  Well I can’t wait.

J. TEDDY: Thank you.

ACTOR POINT: One of the services we provide at ActorPoint.com is an extensive list of monologues that are available to our community of visitors.   As an actor what draws you to a monologue.

J. TEDDY:  You mean to listen to or perform?

ACTOR POINT:  Either.

J.TEDDY:  To perform it can be anything.  I’m going to have to find my voice in the piece anyway.  If I had a choice I would prefer for it to have edge and be gritty yes, but it doesn’t have to be.  As an audience member listening to one, I’m not a hard critic at all; I just want to be convinced.

ACTOR POINT:  Do you have a favorite monologue from a film or the stage.

J. TEDDY:  Man, there are too many.  The ones that come to mind immediately are Ricky Roma’s in Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet;  the one where he loses his mind in the office. Hilarious!  Umm… Kevin Spacey in “The Usual Suspects”, when he tells the story of Keyser Soze. Also, Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”... “You can’t handle the truth!"

ACTOR POINT:  Oh nice, those are really great ones. 

J. TEDDY: Yeah I love monologues.  I want to write a monologue book one day, if I ever find the time.

ACTOR POINT:  That wouldn’t be a bad idea; I bet you have lots of stories to tell.  What do you want the world to know about you? 

J. TEDDY: I don’t care much about that. 

ACTOR POINT:  Why is that?

J. TEDDY: Because I don’t think about it.  It’s hard for me to think about the things I don’t care about.

ACTOR POINT: But what if you had the choice to control the worlds understanding of you.

J. TEDDY: I do have that choice. I exercise it every day with my actions.   

 ACTOR POINT:  I see what you mean.  So, control the things you can control and don’t worry about the things you can’t.

J. TEDDY: Now we’re talking. The world as a whole is too complicated.  My instincts, my family and my closest friends are my barometer.  Those are the pitch forks that fine tune the truth for me.  Those are the people who know me.  When I’m gone if the world wants to know me they can learn more about me through their stories.

ACTOR POINT:  You’re very real.  Thanks for your time Teddy.

J. TEDDY: Anytime.

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