Actor and model, Alejandro Arzciat, was born in Mexico, but is based in LA, pursuing an already successful acting career. A star in his hometown, this Latin hunk is about to show Hollywood what he is made of in the acting world!
Hello Alejandro, please tell us- When did you first start performing?
Arzciat: Actually—and it is very funny when I remember this—my first role was when I was in elementary school, like 5 years old, or maybe before that! It was a “pastorela” and I had the lead role of Joseph; it was just kids playing around, but I remember enjoying doing the whole thing it a lot. Then throughout my school years I filmed a lot of stories with basic recording cameras and friends having a good time, either for school work or just for the fun of it. I would be the one among my friends directing the camera, the actors, the editing, I would just be non stop doing it from every angle. I wish I had all those tapes…
It was later on, in high school, that I started taking advanced acting classes and joined a local theater company where I lived when I felt the real feeling of giving a performance on a professional stage.
Growing up in Mexico and then relocating to the US to further your acting career, how did it compare to where and how you grew up?
Arzciat: That´s a good one, where to start…? the US has a lot of influence throughout the world, including México. So I grew up in México, but watching and hearing a lot of media from the US, therefore, I feel like I had long been permeated with the US culture, but with the filter of actually growing up in México. A lot of people are surprised that my English is so good; they ask me how I learned, and I often answer: MTV, lol! And its true! I mean, partially. I did take English courses as well. But you get the picture.
Moving to LA to further my acting career is more a cultural-systematic challenge, rather than a language one, given I´ve spoken English since very little. I mean “cultural-systematic challenge” because of the cultural values and systems of each country; the US and Mexico have very different ways of doing things, although, as far as the cinematic industry goes, Mexico did adopt the way things are done in the US. Here in Hollywood, I came to realize how things are done in a very, very rapid pace; you don´t get to talk to an agent over the phone for more than a minute here. It is as if every second of the day counted. People are always on the run here, and I feel that the rhythm of the industry is my main adaptation process. There´s a lot of people doing the same thing in LA, one has to know “the-know-how” besides having the talent of interpreting any given role. It´s kind of developing a system to understand the system.
What do you prefer the most to do? Act, of Model?
Arzciat: I do prefer acting than modeling because I feel it is more complex; but don´t get me wrong, fashion is a tough and specialized industry as well. You are in front of the camera in both cases, but in modeling, it´s more about knowing how you would look great on the photo, and projecting awesomeness and cool style and edgy angles, but it´s only about image. Whereas in acting, a whole lot more occurs psychologically when one is involved in interpreting a character: it´s not about how good or bad you would look, but about how the character would live the situation. And this doesn’t have to be all serious and intense, it could also very well be a light comedy or a farce. But the main difference between both, is that one is only the created still image, the other, a living moving creation.
What is your biggest opportunity to date so far, with your career?
Arzciat: Just to name one, I think that the Pepsi commercial I did was the one that put me out there everywhere; that is to say the biggest one, but fortunately, I´ve had other projects in which I have been involved that, although they did not have international projection like the Pepsi one, gave me a good chance to be seen, like the period series of “Los Minondo” in Mexico, that was transmitted nationwide.
How do you prepare for an audition and what is your method?
Arzciat: Above all, I feel it’s more about understanding rather than memorizing. I see a lot of people out there struggling with what to say first-what to say second, instead getting to understand why the character would say one thing first that would lead to say the second. Having said that, I would enclose myself in a room by myself and start reading ALL the scene over and over again OUT LOUD to start to get the feel of it, and play with it in different ways so that I´m not stuck with just one way of doing it. Then, if I have someone to read it to me, I would ask the person to run it with me off the paper. What´s written in the script is just the tip of the iceberg of thousands of possibilities of what is going on with the characters, so you have to start digging!
Who were some of your influences and inspirations growing up?
Arzciat: I´ve read so many different authors and thinkers that have influenced me in so many ways like: Carl G. Jung, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Frederich Nietzsche, Wes Niskker, Erich Fromm, Efraín Bartolomé, among others, that had shaped my way of thinking. Not all are related to the acting craft, but definitely are there when I´m performing since they are a part of me in a way.
Specifically for acting, funny enough, while growing up, I used to watch Eugenio Derbez a lot on Mexican television. He is hilarious and so inventive! I remember thinking how would he come up with so many characters and sketches. I read an interview of him that made me think of him a lot more seriously where he said something along the lines of: “you have to have the talent to develop your talent” and that made a lot of sense in my career. In a broader scope, one of my favorites, and surely of many others: Marlon Brando, would knock me out, and still does, every time I see his characters and ultimately himself on screen.
Who would be your dream co-star?
Arzciat: Adrien Brody. Definitely him. He would also be one that had influenced me a lot in the type of actor I want to be: a person interpreting a person, not an actor showing off. Besides, a lot of people have told me we look alike, so, I could definitely see myself playing a role as his brother. I would loooove to!
What advice do you give to other up and coming performers out there, that want to do what you are doing?
Arzciat: Focus. Focus. Focus on creating. It almost sounds like Hocus Pocus!! Lol. But that´s it. If you are really an artists and want to create, create. Do what you need to do in order to be seen, yes, but it´s not only about being seen. Engaging in creating a work of art is very profound and is surely a path in the way of knowing oneself. Acting is a very different career from the “common” career, so stability is seldom found. Do what you need to do in order to go on in life, but keep on focusing on your career no matter what. In the end, after all that digging, you will find a precious stone.
What are your plans for the future?
Arzciat: Keep doing what I´ve done so far. Creating and sharpening my craft. I am thinking, besides getting to go to auditions, to take clases at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts or the Acting Circle. The acting Methods from here and from Mexico are similar, but I want to really get down the differences so that I can nail the auditions I get to go to. I will also, on the modeling side, get a modeling agency to start working internationally.
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