Actors, it’s a Good Opportunity to See if You Can Survive in Smaller Entertainment Markets by Washington DC’s Morris D. Small

FilmCourage.com
Dec 21, 2015 · 8 min read
Image for post
Image for post
MORRIS D. SMALL, ACTOR/FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER/VOICE OVER ARTIST/WRITER

Morris D. Small: I grew up and still reside in Washington, DC. Home life was fun and spontaneous. Both parents had professional careers and kept me involved in things that I liked all of the time whether I followed the activities through its entirety.

Morris: That is a hard one…both of them. Some folks say Moms and some say Pops. Everyone else says them both. I will chose my father to answer the question, haha.

Morris: I would probably name my motion picture, “The puzzled one.” .

Image for post
Image for post

Morris: My grandfather, Willie R. Copeland (RIP). He was very humble, outgoing, courteous to others, religious, enjoyed the family life, down to earth, and forgiving. He was great and I wish sometimes that he could see my progress with my acting career.

Morris: Yes, my father encouraged me to hone my craft for anything that I did, he was a bit skeptical of me wanting to be an actor at first. He did not want me to get hurt because I did not become a star. My mother supported my acting and told me to follow my heart.

Morris: Mainly I learned by watching great performances, behind-the-scenes footage of movies on Entertainment Tonight, in elementary school taught by the drama teachers, through rehearsals in church plays, and when I was in high school we did training there as well.

Image for post
Image for post

Morris: Life, my goals, and the man upstairs. I like knowing that every day that I am fortunate to wake up, I am contributing to my goals and contributing to the lives in my environment, wherever it may be at the time.

Morris: I work 9–5, Monday through Friday. During my lunch I typically try networking online, searching for interesting projects, go to the gym, and watch movies later that day.

Image for post
Image for post

.

Morris: I try to network with casting directors. I visit the SAG AFTRA website, Backstage, ProductionHub.com, and Imdb.com.

Morris: It began when I was attending JC Nalle Elementary school day/evening talent shows and when I volunteered to be in church plays on Sundays in Washington, DC.

Morris: I like it mainly because of the excitement of getting the audience to focus on performances, the story line, and hopefully making an impact on their lives.

Morris: I was 10 years old I believe on a trip to Atlantic City, NJ at the time. I thought it was Las Vegas, NV. It was with my mother, sister, and father. Our parents left us in the arcades to go gamble I would stand in the hallway of the casinos an impersonate a Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, a TV show, or just make things up. I would see the smiles and hear the chuckles of people walking past.

Morris: In the past, I was booked for roles at open casting calls and networked with fellow actors to learn where to find casting databases online. I would submit to the local casting directors that I heard about that included Pat Moran casting, Betsy Royal casting, Central Casting, and Carolyn Davis casting.

Morris: My thoughts at the time were I am going to make it somehow without having to sell my soul and I didn’t care how hard it was as long as I had talent. Currently, my thoughts are much different and talent is almost at the bottom of the list now, reality kicked in (chuckles).

Image for post
Image for post

Morris: Yes, I have always wanted to be at the fingertips of the LA market. I had an agent in LA years ago. Unfortunately, he closed the company down. I remember him telling me “Morris, you’ve got balls to come way out to LA from Washington, DC to seek representation, I respect that.”

Morris: Honestly, a full time federal government job mainly because of the job security. I need the security because nothing is guaranteed for us actors unless you have been cast for a major role or in big projects back to back.

Morris: Living outside of LA and NY can be an advantage if you take the opportunities in that are presented to you as an actor. It is a good opportunity to see if you can survive in the smaller entertainment markets. The Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, DC, and Miami areas are major cities that have work in the entertainment field. .

Image for post
Image for post

Morris: It was random, I mean, I attended a course in voice over at Maryland Community college. I felt a bit confident that I could break into voice over something that is extremely difficult to do with all of the competition in the field.

Morris: Being an extrovert, confident, and being down to earth.

Morris: Honing the craft of acting, networking, and being a professional.

Morris: There are quite a few from the Washington, DC area. I would say Martin Lawrence. He is from the area. I would ask Martin how did he feel about not being able to film his hit show “Martin” in the area in which he grew up and would he try to do a show in Washington, DC now? .

Image for post
Image for post

Morris: If I had to choose between the two it would be highly-emotional character because I am not the highly-emotional type person. I am lively, not highly emotional. I would reminisce on individuals that I know that are highly-emotional both men and women that would help contribute to the challenging role.

Morris: I took a class at the Studio Theater in Washington, DC. Did some networking with California stunt performers who kindly gave me advice and it went from there. It is more of the fight choreography that interests me more than stunt work. You really have to be driven and love to do stunt work.

Morris: The project titled “Insomnia,” not because it is the most recent. My character’s name is Carl Burton the Blogger/a*!hole. The role of Carl B. in Insomnia gave me an opportunity to create this character from scratch and I just kept adding everything I thought Carl would be. It made me dig within myself and pull out traits that I wanted to show the audience.

Morris: I would like to play the state governor or congressional leader that has that hidden secret that no one knows about. I say this because political leaders are viewed with such high standards and once people discover that there is another side, it just has the person’s character make an extreme adjustment.

Morris: Risk and variety, if I am in a comfortable and predictable scenario that is monotonous to me. Risk and variety, is a challenge with the uncertainty that is involved. That would keep it exciting.

Morris: Booker T. Washington

Morris: For me, being yourself and doing what makes you smile on the the inside. as well as the outside. Everything does not have to be for financial gain in life to be happy (my opinion).

Morris: Exploring more avenues of directing and producing more short films or low budget feature projects to submit to festivals and share with audiences everywhere.

BIO:

Morris D. Small has worked on numerous projects as a featured, principal, supporting, and lead roles for Federal Government Security Videos (National Archives), TV show HBO Veep Season 3 Ep. 4 Clovis featured Secret Service role from Pat Moran Casting, and has auditioned for House of Cards with casting director Kimberly Skyrme casting in Baltimore, MD. He has appeared on talk shows, was featured in a Mid Atlantic Area magazine, and in an article for the Washington Examiner in Washington, DC. Morris has written, produced, and directed two short films, one a comedy and the other a drama. He also just wrapped on a TV webseries INSOMNIA, filming in the Washington, DC area.

CONNECT WITH MORRIS D. SMALL:

LinkedIn

Official Website

IMDB

Film Courage

Check out writing, filmmaking and acting via videos…

FilmCourage.com

Written by

Check us out on Youtube here: http://bit.ly/2Dsvl72 and FilmCourage.com. Additional Youtube Film Courage 2 here: http://bit.ly/2F3uJVN — or Twitter @FilmCourage

Film Courage

Check out writing, filmmaking and acting via videos, articles, podcasts at FilmCourage.com and Youtube.com/user/filmcourage — New videos daily!

FilmCourage.com

Written by

Check us out on Youtube here: http://bit.ly/2Dsvl72 and FilmCourage.com. Additional Youtube Film Courage 2 here: http://bit.ly/2F3uJVN — or Twitter @FilmCourage

Film Courage

Check out writing, filmmaking and acting via videos, articles, podcasts at FilmCourage.com and Youtube.com/user/filmcourage — New videos daily!

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store