Glenn Cartwright is a relative newbie to the acting world yet has jumped in full force, taking classes and individualized instruction and landing gigs in movies and music videos.
When did you first develop an interest in film acting?
A series of seemingly unrelated events provided an opportunity to try acting about a year and a half ago. In the end, or should I say the end of the beginning, it was clear God had opened a door, and a very unexpected one at that! Even then, I saw the opportunity as being more in the voice over industry. But, some encouragement from a veteran actor pushed me to try on-camera acting and I haven’t looked back.
What acting training have you had?
From the very beginning, it has been a blessing to train at the Actors School USA near Nashville. Alan Dysert, the director of the school and a Hollywood veteran actor, is a great mentor to new actors. And, he brings in directors, producers, casting directors, even other veteran actors, from Hollywood to conduct workshops. I am also very privileged to train privately with veteran director and acting coach Ed Couppee. And, it has been a blessing to have such an incredible pool of talented actors right here in Nashville to train with.
What film/television/video projects have you been involved in?
Right out of the gate, my first movie set was The Identical, starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, and Erin Cottrell. Big budget. Lots of crew. A very Hollywood atmosphere! I have been in both a TV pilot and a movie starring Billy Ray Cyrus, who, by the way, does everything first class. I have had a small speaking role in a couple of indie features. I worked alongside Jenn Gotzon in The Good Book. She is absolutely amazing! And a workshop she led was like a lot of light bulbs turning on in my mind all at once. I appeared in a crime reenactment episodic on Investigation Discovery. And, I have been in three music videos, including “American Noise,” by Skillet, the single hit number one on the Christian Hot AC chart.
What faith-based films have you been in?
The Good Book is the most prominent faith-based film I have been in to date. This is quite an ambitious project – an evangelical silent feature film. It was a very moving experience on set and I can’t wait to see the final cut. I was an extra in 11 Seconds, which stars Casper Van Dien. And, you may see me floating around in several bar scenes in Like A Country Song, which has themes of faith, family, and reconciliation. Joel Smallbone of Christian rock duo “for King & Country” stars alongside Billy Ray Cyrus. And there is this incredible, inspirational song that Joel sings in the movie.
What do you enjoy most about film acting?
Definitely hair and makeup! (laughing) No, really, I enjoy everything. Wardrobe fittings. Luxury buses. Your own trailer. Meeting new people. Seeing all the behind the scenes happenings. But overall, I would say that the creativity is my most favorite part. It is just such an adrenaline rush, particularly on the big budget, big crew projects. Is there anything that an experienced film crew can’t do?! Even the physicality, which can be demanding, is a fun challenge that brings out the former athlete in me. I’ve mashed my finger and bled in-between takes, lifted a 190 lb. actor on a gurney as a paramedic. And, he got a lot heavier after multiple takes! I have carried a casket up a steep cemetery hill for numerous takes in 90 degree heat. And, I have been knocked over a chair by a very pretty actress in a rehearsal take. She was supposed to push me, but not over the chair! But it was real and acting at its best is real, not fake. Still, I have commented to friends that acting is not as cool as it looks – it is way cooler! Did I mention pretty actresses?!
What has been your favorite acting role?
My first movie role was pretty awesome. I can’t reveal too much, yet, because the movie isn’t due for release until April 2014. But, I was able to work – literally – side by side with three major Hollywood stars. It was a great experience and great training, even if my face gets cut from the scene. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one! The Good Book was such an amazing experience. Again, I can’t reveal too much, yet, but I’ve heard feedback from an actress on set who said she was in tears watching what transpires between my character, a homeless character, and star Jenn Gotzon during one church scene. The scene had an emotional effect on me personally to the point that I have teared up in church thinking about it. Watching another scene from behind the camera moved several of us to tears and then church bells started ringing – as if on cue! Just amazing!
What is your goal as an actor?
My goal is to be a full-time actor. That’s it. Not fame or fortune. Not to move to Hollywood as soon as possible. Just work, be able to earn my primary income from acting, and enjoy the privilege it is to work with so many amazingly talented people, both on and off camera. I’m on a path to being a character actor and I’m working hard to get the industry to take me seriously in a variety of different roles. And, maybe, just maybe, down the road, I might like to explore directing.
When I started this journey, I asked the Lord to allow me to do this only if I could somehow bring honor to Him. That is not easy in this “anything goes” industry. I’ve already walked away from a couple of audition opportunities that were in conflict with my Christian faith. But, the doors have continued to open at a rapid pace and I am just trying to walk through faithfully and not get in God’s way by over-thinking anything too much. He has blessed me with industry insiders who have been gracious enough to share their experiences and insights. I just try to soak it all up like a sponge. I have a short window to establish myself as a working actor who has the opportunity to land roles that can impact the audience in a positive way. From the day I was told I could be successful at this – if I was willing to work hard – I have been at it full throttle. I’m just trusting God to provide opportunities, trusting His timing, and doing everything I can to learn about acting and hone my skills.