fbpx

alyshia ochse

089: Eme Ikwuakor

089: Eme Ikwuakor 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Dive In and Take The Risk

Today’s guest’s journey is a roller coaster ride full of defining moments, times when everything seemed to be working against him, but ultimately lead him to where he is today. From multiple heart attacks by the time he was 21 years old to getting cut from some of recent year’s most recognizable films, Eme Ikwuakor has continued to press on and shares how he took the deep dive into an artistic career.

Eme Ikwuakor is a triplet, born In Wheatridge, Colorado and the son of Nigerian parents (his father is a college professor in Nigeria). Attending the University of Colorado on a track and field scholarship, he was considering a sports marketing major until a college advisor recommended an acting course. Ikwuakor signed up and was quickly cast in the part of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. It became a life-changing experience. Always fascinated by history and African-American rights issues, Ikwuakor then became heavily involved in the Interactive Theater Project in Colorado, a professional acting troupe that specialized in theater for social change. This experience became a great influence on his career goals. During this period, he was cast in Ink, the critically-acclaimed, locally produced, independent science fiction feature that won Best Colorado Film at the 2009 Denver Film Critics Society awards and was considered “one of the best films of 2009. (JoBlo)” This positive experience taught Ikwuakor a great deal about how to independently produce projects, market and take chances. Arriving in Los Angeles after college graduation with a B.F.A in Performance Theater, Ikwuakor took a series of jobs to support his acting and producing ambitions. His life-changing project, Chance, was a short dramatic film, which he wrote, produced, co-directed and starred in. Its insight encouraged him to drop his day job of three years and focus entirely on his acting career. Since then, he has never been busier. Ikwuakor’s television series credits include Outlaw, Love Bites, Victorious, The Comeback, Silicon Valley, Castle, Hawaii Five-O and We Are Angels. In addition to Ink, he has been featured in the films The New Republic, Murder in the Dark and Not Safe for Work. He continues to work actively for social and political change. Currently, Eme is starring on ABC’s, Marvel’s Inhumans.

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“Sometimes it might take you five auditions to learn that one piece of advice to book this next gig.”

“If I hear a no, I know what I need to work on.”

VIDEOS:

088: Sarah Baker

088: Sarah Baker 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

A Series of Full Circle Moments

Sarah Baker is an actress and comedian born in the Washington, D.C. area. After graduating from James Madison University with a double major in Theater and English, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she joined the Whole World Improv Theatre as a performer, and later as a teacher. She also later became a member of the Sunday Company with the acclaimed Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles.

She is best known for her roles in The Kominsky Method on Netflix, The Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, and on HBO’s Big Little Lies. She has been nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award for her guest role on Louie, as well as for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for The Kominsky Method, in which she stars alongside Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. The hit show won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series and, as of January 2019, has been renewed for a second season. She is slated to appear as “Emily” in Ben Falcone’s Superintelligence starring Melissa McCarthy, premiering in December 2019.

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“You always have to prove yourself on every new job that you do.”

“If you keep working hard, you’re gonna get somewhere. It might not be the place you’ve envisioned, but you will get somewhere. Don’t get discouraged.”

087: Russell Hornsby

087: Russell Hornsby 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Today we have a fascinating conversation with actor, Russell Hornsby—from Grimm, Seven Seconds, and The Hate You Give—as well as FENCES, both on Broadway and in the film, his career is full of valuable lessons he’s learned.

After twenty years in the industry, he shares how a long-term career was not a given reality for him, but rather something he’s had to fight for every step of the way. His advice is equal parts inspiration and tough love, so whether you’re just starting out or are a few years in, he’s got some healthy perspective about being honest with yourself, doing the work, and putting everything you have on the line for your art.

Russell Hornsby is an American theater, television, and film actor. He is known for his roles as Edward “Eddie” Sutton on ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights, as Luke on the HBO drama In Treatment, as Detective Hank Griffin on the NBC series Grimm, and as Lyons in the movie Fences.

After finishing his studies at Oxford, Hornsby moved to New York City and was subsequently cast in leading roles in Off Broadway productions of To Kill a Mockingbird (as Atticus Finch), Joe Louis Blues, and Six Degrees of Separation (as Paul). In the late 1990s, he decided to move to Los Angeles in order to transition into television and film. He has appeared in several different television productions including appearing in recurring roles in Haunted as Detective Marcus Bradshaw and Gideon’s Crossing as Chief Resident Dr. Aaron Boise. His other television credits include Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order, and In Justice among others. He also played running back Leon Taylor in ESPN’s drama series Playmakers. On the big screen, he has appeared in such films as After the Sunset, Big Fat Liar, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Keep the Faith, Baby, Meet the Parents, and Stuck among others. In 2000, Hornsby appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Jitney for which he won a Drama Desk Award and an Obie Award.

He starred in the NBC fantasy drama Grimm from 2011 to 2017. In 2018, he played Isaiah Butler in the Netflix crime drama Seven Seconds. That same year, Hornsby joined the cast of the movie Creed II.

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“Know why you’re going into this, know why you’re doing it, because the industry doesn’t need you. They don’t care. You can’t do this for the moment or think you’re going to get rich, because it’s hard.”

“Not what are you WILLING to do, what are you GOING to do to stay in the game?”

VIDEOS:

BONUS: Eric Amadio

BONUS: Eric Amadio 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

For today’s bonus episode, we’re talking with writer/director Eric Amadio—if you’ve not heard of him, you’ve likely seen his show SNOWFALL on FX, or at least spotted the billboards around the town. His fascinating story takes all kinds of unexpected turns—from writing haikus as a child to getting published at 10 years old, from electronic music producer to rapper to director, and now show creator—Eric has worn many hats and has accumulated some fascinating perspective along the way.

We take a deep dive into how his process works, how he writes and manages his approach to production, and what he’s observed about creativity in our rapidly changing modern culture. He is motivating and inspiring, and whether you’re an actor, writer, or director, his insight will lead to some pretty powerful revelations about story structure, character, inspiration, and patience!

Eric Amadio is a writer, director, and producer, known for Snowfall (2017), After Sex (2007) and Stuntmen (2009). Born in Southeast Los Angeles and raised during the height of violence in the crack-fueled 80’s and 90’s, Eric had his first essay published at the age of 10, went on to write for local music publication Rock City News at 16, then worked as an electronic music producer/DJ from ages 18-23 before beginning his career in film and television. Deeply rooted in Los Angeles, his grandfather opened one of the first Italian/American owned photo studios in Downtown LA in the 1940’s, his mother grew up in the middle of the 1950’s car-culture in Bell, and Eric’s formative years were spent immersed in the various 80’s/90’s subcultures of hip hop, skateboarding, basketball, and crime, all elements that can be found in his work.

 

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“I would love to see real story-tellers re-embraced. We live in this weird time right now where the corporate mentality has taken over the studio system–which is mitigate all risk.”

“A lot of times it’s not about talent, it’s not about vision, it’s just process. Sometimes you just need the extra day or two, or extra year or two to grow as a human so that you’re seeing certain things within a story or within a character.”

VIDEOS:

086: Oliver Trevena

086: Oliver Trevena 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Brit host and actor, Oliver Trevena, has interviewed hundreds of celebrities and musicians at the likes of The Hollywood Reporter, Young Hollywood, GQ.com, Sirius XM’s “Dirty Pop” alongside N-Syncs Lance Bass, as well as Esquire Network’s “Joyride” alongside T- Pain & Mischa Barton.  As an actor, he’s just wrapped “The Rising Hawk,” “Embattled,”and “Grand Isle” (with Nicolas Cage and Kelsey Grammer) feature films.

Oliver Trevena began his performing career as a child across the pond in the UK, singing and dancing and acting. His journey lead him to London where he continued to pursue his love of performing but after not one, but TWO near death experiences, his path lead him to Los Angeles to continue his pursuit of music. He’s seen much of what the entertainment industry in LA has to offer, and after many ups and down, he reconnecting with his passion for storytelling and hasn’t looked back since.

From his countless hosting gigs, to acting, and now producing, He generously shares how he’s managed to build a career that not only honors his artistry but also allows him to leverage his perspective as a producer—how he’s built so many relationships over the years and how he’s continued to evolve in the face of fear and uncertainty.

He has since starred in movies, like The Long Road (2008), Ready? OK! (2008) and TV appearances in The Good Guys (2010), Leverage (2008), The Forgotten (2009) and How to Rock (2012). He now lives in LA but spends his time between the US and UK.

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“The only thing that was getting in my way, when I look back, was my own ego.”

“You are the only you. No one’s got what you have.”

Erin Cummings on That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse

085: Erin Cummings (LIVE From LA)

085: Erin Cummings (LIVE From LA) 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Discovering Artistic Strength: We Create the Reality We Live In

That One Audition Live from Los Angeles with Erin Cummings.  We dive into the deep and gritty aspects of sex in auditions and on set, being a local hire, getting screwed on contracts, and not wanting to be just good enough.  You want honest and real, this one pulls back the curtain on all the things this industry does to make your head spin and gives you tangible ways to not only survive in it but also thrive in it!

Erin Cummings is a graduate of the University of North Texas, with a degree in Journalism. Cummings began her professional acting career, when she was spotted by an L.A. talent scout, while performing in community theater near Dallas. Cummings later went on to study Shakespeare at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, preparing her for her future roles as “Lady Macbeth” and “Queen Gertrude” in the Santa Susana Repertory Theater Company’s productions of “Macbeth” and “Hamlet”, respectively.

Most recently seen as “Sura”, the Thracian wife of “Spartacus” in the Starz original action-adventure drama series, Spartacus (2010). She also had a recurring role on Matthew Weiner‘s Emmy Award-winning AMC series, Mad Men (2007). She was seen, alongside Martin Lawrence, in Universal Studios’ Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins (2008). On TV, Cummings was a series regular on the second season of Dante’s Cove (2004), on the Here! Network. Her other television work includes a guest lead turn on Cold Case (2003), a recurring role on Dollhouse (2009), and appearances on Nip/Tuck (2003), Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), Threshold (2005) and Charmed (1998).

Erin is the founder of “Mittens For Detroit”, a community initiative whose sole purpose is to collect and distribute new gloves and mittens to children and adults in the city of Detroit.

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“We are so lucky as artists because we can create the reality that we live in.”

“As good as it feels to believe the good stuff that people write, if you believe the good stuff you gotta believe the bad stuff, and all of it is bullshit and none of it matters.”

Wyatt Russell on that one audition with Alyshia Ochse hockey richard linklater, cohen brothers, lodge 49, black mirror

084: Wyatt Russell

084: Wyatt Russell 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you’ve probably started to realize just how many different paths a Hollywood career can take—that the meeting of preparation and opportunity can take a thousand different forms, regardless of where you come from or how you first discovered your impulse to be creative and tell stories.

Today we’re sitting down with Wyatt Russell, from Black Mirror, Overlord, Ingrid Goes West, and Lodge 49, as he shares how he came to acting, after a career playing hockey.

He was born in Los Angeles, but soon made his way to Canada so hone his skills on the ice. After several injuries, found his way back to LA and after a few chance encounters, he realized that the business of telling stories on screen might just be for him. After several years of trying to find his place in the industry, he began to discover his niche—playing characters in psychologically nuanced worlds, rich with colorful insight. He’s continued to find opportunities to explore and create with his unique voice, seeking out other collaborators whose works are defined by a similarly distinctive perspective.

Today we discuss how he would change the audition process, confidence in this just being a job, paving your own way, saying no and the exploration of true collaboration.

LODGE 49 is returning for its second season on AMC and he also stars in the upcoming adaptation of The Woman in the Window, starring across Gary Oldman, Amy Adams, and Julianne Moore.

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“With auditioning, there’s no opposing force trying to stop you from anything. It’s just you in the room. And you’re either right, or you’re not. You either do a good job, or you don’t.”

VIDEOS:

Sheldon Candis on That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse

BONUS: Sheldon Candis

BONUS: Sheldon Candis 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Use the King’s Money, Serve the People

Today we’re sitting down with an imaginative and perceptive artist, writer and director, Sheldon Candis. He is a force for passionate storytelling, and is unbelievably candid and generous as he shares his personal pursuit to see his stories live on the big screen. He graduated from USC film school where he raised all his own money to produce his thesis project, he shares how he’s continued to fund the production of his art, and how he managed to stay focused and inspired, even when the people writing the checks weren’t quite convinced of his writing and directorial abilities. He continued to press through, never giving up, as he fought for the opportunity to share his stories.

From his 10 years on set as a production assistant to the 56 different drafts of his directorial debut, LUV, he’s stayed committed to developing his authentic voice and staying in the game, in the highest of highs—his film premiering at Sundance, to the lowest of lows, and in every moment in between. He shares how he was able to manage the pressure of directing artists like Common and Dennis Haysbert as a first-time director, and how he found and continues to re-discover the power to define himself and pursue his passion—to tell stories that unite humanity and empower and inspire people from every background.

Baltimore native Sheldon Candis is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Candis recently created and directed the docu-narrative series ‘I WILL WHAT I WANT’, a cinematic portrait of ballet phenom Misty Copeland for Under Armour. Candis’ documentary THE DWELLING, chronicles the lives of two homeless men living along Tokyo’s Sumida Gawa. The film is being distributed by Scion and Giant Robot magazine.

Candis’ feature directorial debut LUV (which he also co-wrote) was an official selection in the Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition. He assembled an incredible cast including Common, Charles S. Dutton, Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Meagan Good, Michael K. Williams and a wonderful 11-year-old breakout talent named Michael Rainey Jr.

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“The minute you encounter someone, think about planting a seed as oppose to plucking the flower.”

“Everyone prepares you for how hard it is to break in, but nobody really gives you a heads-up on how hard it is to stick and stay.”

VIDEOS:

Ian Verdun on That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse

083: Ian Verdun

083: Ian Verdun 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Today we are chatting with Ian Verdun, an actor and playwright, seen most recently on Freeform’s hit show SIREN. Ian was born and raised right here in Los Angeles, and graduated from Cal Arts where he studied acting, and also used much his time away from the stage writing his own plays. Today, he candidly shares his journey, from struggling to pay for school, to grinding in New York with multiple side jobs, all the way to booking his big break on SIREN.

He generously shares his insight on the expanding diversity dialogue within the industry, how things have changed since he was stuck playing bit parts throughout school, and how, as a storyteller, he feels characters can and should be depicted by artists from every background.

Verdun’s past performances have been described as “brimming with grit and honesty” by Backstage, “quirkily charming” by Variety, and “finely nuanced” by LA Weekly. He has also been hailed by Stage Scene LA as the “brightest stage discovery of 2011”.
Ian continues to cut his teeth on the stages of New York and Los Angeles, along with writing and producing several plays himself. After appearing on ABC’s Last Resort, TNT’s Hawthorne and FOX’s Lucifer, Ian threw his energy into his own television creation, Life’s A Drag. Following years of experiencing the lackluster opportunities for diverse entertainers, Life’s A Drag went on to win a number of awards in the burgeoning web festival circuit, including a special award for recognition in diversity.

 

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“All the things we perceive as anger and we perceive as aggression actually come from a place of pain and actually come from a place of vulnerability.”

“You need to take responsibility for your talent. Don’t put that responsibility on other people to recognize that you’re talented…”

VIDEOS:

Amy Landecker on That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse

072: Amy Landecker

072: Amy Landecker 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Today we have a really special conversation with an actress who has defied what we’re often told is possible in a Hollywood career. She started on stage with the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, but didn’t make it to Los Angeles till she was nearly 40. She is an example of what can happen when an artist decides to be the exception, embrace fear, and relinquish over-thinking.

We also get to chat about failure, how it is a vital part of success as an actor, and how she’s been able to take professional and personal challenges, and turn them into opportunities to tell stories with some of Hollywood’s most innovative artists.

She’s developed an incredible body of work that includes working with the Cohen Brothers, booking 9 (count them!) 9 guest stars in one year, and most notably her role on Amazon’s Transparent.

Amy Landecker started her career as a theatre actor in Chicago IL, where she worked with the Steppenwolf and Goodman theaters. A transfer production from Chicago brought her to NYC and the Public Theatre. While in New York, she worked at the Barrow St Theater and Second Stage. She eventually made her way to Los Angeles, where she was tapped to play “Mrs. Samsky” in the Coen brothers’ Oscar-nominated A Serious Man (2009). After a long series of guest star and recurring roles in shows like Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie, and The Paul Reiser Show, she landed her current starring role as “Sarah Pfefferman” in the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning series, Transparent (2014). Amy has also written pilots for FX and Amazon and is a top VO talent in animation and commercials.

 

Tune in

Listen On iTunes

 

Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“Regardless of what you look like, you have to have confidence.” – Amy Landecker

“You can’t look at the stats, you have to believe you can be an exception.” – Amy Landecker

“We’re ageless in our artistry if we allow ourselves to be.” – Alyshia Ochse

VIDEOS:

Follow @AlyshiaOchse on Instagram
That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse (Footer Logo)

ALYSHIA OCHSE

Los Angeles-based actress, bestselling author, host of That One Audition podcast, entrepreneur, & mother.

SUBSCRIBE

©  Alyshia Ochse |  MADE WITH BY CHASE JENNINGS

    Subscribe to That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse

    Never Miss An Episode

    Alyshia Ochse