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Rising Star Aldrin Bundoc On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry

“You’re worth much more than you think you are.” Being an immigrant from The Philippines, I personally had a mentality of being satisfied with the bare minimum, or I put myself in an inferior status. Now, I have a better understanding of what I actually deserve.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Aldrin Bundoc.

Aldrin Bundoc is a Dora awards-nominated actor, physical- theatre creator, and producer who was born in Manila, Philippines and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was five-years old. He is currently based in Toronto.

When Aldrin had set his sights on acting during the early 2000’s, he had little to no Filipino representation onscreen from which he could draw inspiration or guidance. Despite this, after high school, he pursued his passion for acting by enrolling himself in Film/TV classes in Toronto, as well as attending the George Brown Theatre Conservatory. Upon graduation, Aldrin signed on with an agent and began his professional career on stage and screen.

Aldrin booked his first professional role in the television series The Firm where he appeared alongside Hollywood actress Juliette Lewis. Since then, he has had the pleasure of sharing the screen with notable talents such as Dan levy, Topher Grace, Harry Shum Jr., Jason Priestley, Jack Quaid, and Sonequa Martin-Green.

To date, Aldrin has amassed a significant body of work including Schitt’s Creek, The Boys, and Star Trek: Discovery. Currently, he can be seen starring in the new satirical sketch comedy series Abroad — a humorous look at how Filipino immigrants think, perceive and deal with living in Canada.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Thanks for having me Authority Magazine! I was born in The Philippines in Manila and immigrated to Canada with my family when I was five years old. We surely did not come to Canada with a sturdy financial foundation but my parents just took it one step at a time. Eventually, our family found our footing in this country through a lot of perseverance. I grew up in Mississauga and moved to Toronto when I got accepted into theatre school. Theatre school was only 3 years long but I felt like I experienced 5 years worth of life — I grew up a lot in a short period of time. Since then, I’ve continued to live in Toronto and work as an actor, constantly learning and being curious.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I had graduated high school and decided that I was going to pursue acting — I actually considered moving to LA, thank god I didn’t, because I had no money, no mentors, and hardly any adult life experience. So I simply chose to take some acting classes in Toronto. A very sweet and nurturing acting teacher at that studio saw how dedicated I was to become an actor and said “Aldrin, you should go to theatre school”. I followed her advice and I believe that put me in the right direction.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most incredible moments that have happened in my career were when I found myself on set with actors that I watched when I was young. I was a fan the “Power Rangers” when I was new to Canada, and found myself on set with the actress who played the Pink Power Ranger. I remembered watching a Canadian kid’s show called “Lassie”, and then found myself having lunch with the actor who played the lead role in that series. The first TV gig I booked required me to act with Juliette Lewis, who I vividly remember watching in a bunch of 90s films. Those actors, who I once thought were so far away, were people I ended up working with.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There was an action sequence I was supposed to perform where I run away from a cop and they use a rubber bullet to take me down in this large field (there wasn’t actually a rubber bullet used). They were waiting to call action when the train in the background was passing by because it made the shot more dynamic. Finally the train started to pass by, they called action and I started to run. I heard the director’s cue for me to fall down and so I did. I was in such adrenaline that as soon as I fell down, I immediately sat up from excitement. The director later said, “Wait until I call cut to stop acting”. I was way too excited about having my own little action sequence.

I learned to not be swept up in the chaos and adrenaline of the set environment.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

ABROAD is newly released — it’s a sketch-comedy show I’m in about the Filipino- Canadian immigrant experience. I think this perspective has a lot comedic gold and will be quite refreshing for a lot of people. And it was a blast to work on.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

My advice is to talk to as many people who are in that profession and ask them how they got there and where they want to be. Learn from those who have already walked before you.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

1. Diversity in film and tv can build bridges to understanding communities that we aren’t frequently around

2. Diversity includes marginalized demographics of people who experience a sense of erasure from this industry that have this idea that their stories won’t sell

3. People who are considered diverse are all still undergoing a human experience that is universal and is worth sharing

I think by introducing more diversity, audiences will be encouraged to expand their views of the world and there’s always room for more connection and understanding.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

1. “Applaud every small victory.” You’ve gotten this far, that means you’re doing something right.

2. “Prepare yourself to be prepared.” I now put my keys and wallet in the same spot so I don’t have to go looking for them before I leave the house for an important meeting. I’ve learned to reduce stress by getting all the small things out of my way.

3. “You’re worth much more than you think you are.” Being an immigrant from The Philippines, I personally had a mentality of being satisfied with the bare minimum, or I put myself in an inferior status. Now, I have a better understanding of what I actually deserve.

4. “Let life surprise you.” Give some space for the things that are presenting itself to you and consider being open to it.

5. “Don’t forget to have fun.” When I meditate, I imagine being in space looking down at the entire planet to remind myself not to take things too seriously.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

What’s helped me not burn out, is that I knew that this career was a long-term process. I was marrying myself into this career path and so I had to be in-process with it and ease up on my expectations to have something happen within a certain time. Yes, I definitely set goals that I wanted to achieve but I allowed them to be at my pace.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I think there should be facilities (like a gym) with private rooms that people can book for 2 hours where they can cry loudly, or be unapologetically angry, or jump around in joy and freely express their emotions the way babies do — of course, there would be safety protocols in place. And their personal therapist would be available before or after that session. If anyone wants to work on this idea with me, hit me up.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’d say that the people who have helped me the most are my close friends, who are also actors. They know what I’m going through in my career, but they keep me grounded and sane.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I’ve got a life quote that I sometimes repeat in my head and it’s a little embarrassing because it’s from a Hilary Duff movie. The quote refers to the game of baseball: “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”. In the past, I’ve quit things before I even started due to my fears and expectations, but when I allow curiosity and fun in, things become more bearable.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

RuPaul. I think RuPaul is a beautifully evolved individual who is constantly in practice of what it means to be fully alive and fully human.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram is @buzzaldy

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Edward Sylvan, CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group

Edward Sylvan, CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group

Specializing in acquiring, producing and distributing films about equality, diversity and other thought provoking subjects

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