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EP 211: FRANK FAUCETTE (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: You booked it. Episode 211. All right, everyone. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Frank phos set. Are you ready for this?
Frank Faucette: Um,
Dane Reis: All right, man. Frank is an actor writer, producer, director, and host of the ignite, your acting career podcast in his over 20 years experience, he has seen and taught himself every part of the business, working in LA.
New York and Atlanta in front of a behind the camera. And on stage, Frank is a graduate of the NYU MFA program in acting and a princess grace award recipient. Frank, that is a very quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
Frank Faucette: Why? Thank you, Dane.
Dane Reis: Um,
Frank Faucette: I’m just an actor who wanted to be on screen. So I really had a lot of opportunities to teach myself how to produce, how to write in and through a successive set of failures. I’ve I’ve learned what I need to self-propel myself through the business. I started off from Maryland as a young actor on stage and, doing Shakespeare plays in the cafeteria, playing a star and a solar system play to, go into one of the top universities in the country and,
all that from being a C student in high school,
X football player.
Dane Reis: Yeah,
Frank Faucette: I know you have a football
history too, as well,
Dane Reis: exactly right. Yeah. It came from the, from all the athletics and stuff and it was just injuries that got me out of it.
Frank Faucette: Yeah, Yeah. I played all through, boys and girls club and,
all the way up until high school, when my mom moved to Virginia and. She decided to, uh, you know,it, since I was a C student, she was like, I’m not really going to hold my job up. And my make my commute a longer commute basically,to let you stay around your friends and play games in school. So when we moved to Virginia, they had a freestanding theater and much more resources. And and a great acting teacher named Ms. Philippi who taught Sandra Bullock when she was there. And, Yeah,
Rob’s all kinds from heavyweights, was one of my classmates and I was fascinated by that.
I was like, wow, you’ve really actually done the work here. You’ve actually been on screen before. And even if it was a Disney movie as a child, it was amazing to me. So I was like, this is kind ofmore realistic than I thought it was. So in between football practice and, and football season and the rest of the year, I would do plays.
And, I started off in the music man as the only non singing role, which was, I think his name was Charlie cattle, but, I saw the movie and I had a nice, lesson here. Trying to, delivery
Dane Reis: Yeah,
I got rave reviews cause they were like, wow, we didn’t know you could do that. I was like, yeah, like this, I like this acting thing a lot.
that led me to. my, my guidance counselor’s office. And, basically they had a program and this was, in the early days of computing and they had a program where you put in your interest and you put in, your grade point average and in your, and stuff like that. And, one major when I put all my information in one major came out and one school came out.
I applied to two other colleges, but, went ahead and applied to that one school and, got an audition. So I remember I, I prepared this audition, from piano lesson, August Wilson’s piano lesson. And, I knew Charles Dutton who was also from Maryland, where I was from originally. yeah.
Frank Faucette: Played, these originated these roles up at Yale rep. And, I just really, leaned into the opportunity there. And, I got in, so I Got in and,it.
just started a whole nother process in college. And, um, our acting one-on-one teacher was like the greatest, like fundamental acting teacher, Gary Hopper, and he just really drilled into us, like things.
Not being late, being early, if you’re not early, you’re late. And,just the paying in the given circumstances, actually writing out beats and actions and all the stuff that actors seem to, if they don’t take training, they scan seem to skip over, they just, I think, but all these things actually keep You
in a place where you can repeat your performance night after night. yeah. Yeah, That was college. , I was treading lightly in the beginning days and I was like, I’ll play the, the side roles. I play a couple, secondary characters. I was just happy to be there.
And, they started casting me as a lead because I had the stature, you know,six, two and,ex football player. So they would give me opportunities to do that type of thing. And, and so I started really getting some stuff there, decided to go to grad school. I really, like I said, I was failing forward.
I’m a C student. So like now all of a sudden I’m about to go for a master’s. I agree. for some reason, in my mind, I said, look, I’m going to go for the top schools only. So I said, if I don’t go to the top schools, I’m not going to go top schools in the U S I know we have an international audience. So I auditioned for Yale and got a call back.
And so I was excited, but I didn’t ultimately get in. And, I don’t think I was as familiar with Julliard, but I had done some research and found out that NYU was a really great program. And,so I went and auditioned at NYU and as I come into the room, you know,with me being from the Washington DC metropolitan area,originally Maryland, we would go on field trips to this theater in town called the arena stage, which if you knowregional theater in the United States, it’s like it’s a legendary theater, founded in the fifties by Zelda Fitch handler who just so happened to be in the room at my audition and literally. The theater in arena is named after the fit Chandler stage. I look at my paper and I’m like, wait, what? And she was there. And I like, we connected, I connected with the rest of the staff as well. And they were welcome welcomed me with open arms. I got a half scholarship. Then the rest is history, as they say,
Dane Reis: Yeah, very cool. I’m excited to dig into the rest of that through this interview, but let’s get into this first section here and Frank, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?
shoot for the moon, because even if you miss
Frank Faucette: you’ll be amongst the stars,
Dane Reis: Yeah, I love that one. And
when you’re talking about how, if you go to grad school, you’re like, I’m just going to go for the top schools. That’s it. If I don’t do that, then that’s it. That’s right there. making that quote reality.
Frank Faucette: Yeah, That’s been my thing for life has been, I’ve been an optimist, and,sometimes you get down on yourself and thatthat’s kind ofwhat my podcast actually explores is the reality of it. I really always was an optimist. And I realized that about myself.
And so I always challenged myself and thought that I could do things that were far outside of my, my view, you know?
Dane Reis: Yeah, absolutely. And let’s get into this next section here. And Frank, of course you are an entertainer. I’m an entertainer. And I think that you’d agree that this industry. Can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. And you know,as well as I, that in order to have and create a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication, hard work training, and.
Yeah, while there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement and fulfillment doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles and challenges. And like you said, failing forward that we experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.
Frank Faucette: that’s a great question. one key challenge I had was. At all times being able to pay the bills, living, having a work, the work-life balance of an artist, because sometimes there’s passion to do things. And then there’s the reality of actually getting your needs met. And like when you go off to do summer stock somewhere and they want to pay you $400 a week and you have to really make some decisions, if that’s gonna work for you.
I think that’s been. One of the realest challenges of the business in general. And, so the way I’ve always done it is I’ve always been able to keep a job that was flexible enough or keep another income stream. And now it’s becoming easier and easier because of the internet. Keep another income stream that will allow you the freedom to drop everything and go at a moment’s notice because you never know when your opportunity is going to show and you have to be prepared.
Frank Faucette: You have to be ready to go at that summer stock play. I’ve had friends that have gone on to do plays and off cities and yeah, the thing ends up on Broadway,
Dane Reis: yeah, for sure. Yeah. Those regional theaters are, there’s so much work that is somebody shows that are work shopped, in, in those regional houses. And it’s amazing when I graduated from, the conservatory. That was the end of me doing any kind of regional theater, because it was a financial thing.
There was no way they’re like, it doesn’t matter if I book it and I can get it. I can’t afford to be working there, you know?Cause you don’t pay me enough.
. Yeah. But that work life balance or finding additional income streams or, figuring out, I think the key that you said was, if you’re needing to find other income is to find it in a way that allows you still the flexibility to still go to the auditions to do that.
Really properly pursuing a career because it’s easy, it’s easy to get,just go for the money. You know what I mean? But might also mean it locks you up. And we are very fortunate now that especially in this, COVID world, the virtual work from home idea is much more of a reality and there’s way more opportunity to earn money, from your house or from a computer.
Frank Faucette: I give anybody out there listening to take advantage of this time, period, why companies are being so flexible with that option. if there’s a job you can do at home, make sure you line that up. Thanks for all your
Dane Reis: ducks in a row, yeah, don’t be struggling to get it once it all comes back.
Frank Faucette: Oh Yeah, don’t be like me guys.
Frank did that. This is a Jay Z quote, by the way, Frank did that. So hopefully you don’t have to go through that.
Dane Reis: Yeah, there you go. let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yeah, I’m going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing in the industry. Tell us about.
Frank Faucette: That’s interesting. So I would say it might be in, I might have to go back to college again. when. Like I said, I, we all were to arena stage as a class, from Richmond, Virginia, all the way back up to DC to go see this play called thunder knocking on the door. And, it was a great play and it was well done.
We were watching the play because we were going to be the first college production to do that play. And so it was this kind of big thing, that we had the rights to it. So,in the audition, I’m literally looking to play the song. Of,
one of the larger characters who is the comic relief and what I thought was the most interesting role to me.
Plus this plate is a play with music. I know you’re a musical guy and, I wasn’t necessarily the most competent in my singing ability, but I could carry a tune in a bucket.
and basically, the director literally cast me as the lead in the play. So it’s like climbing up a tree too high and wondering how you’re going to get back.
Dane Reis: Yeah.
Frank Faucette: So immediately I go into panic mode, but I realized that, like I said, there were certain things that were pushing me towards being a leading man, as opposed to being a supporting lead or supporting character, which there’s nothing wrong with being supporting characters opposed to a lead, but it just.
Really woke me up in a way it’s like a splash of cold. So I immediately went into fight or flight mode and I studied as hard as I could. I took sang every song every day, listening to the tape. We had tapes and CDs back then. And I was just determined that I was going to make this. and have success.
And I was able to, I wasn’t consistently able to do certain things, but I realized then I was like, I’m on a bigger mission here and I need to, pay attention and to accept that position, you know,except the leadership,
Dane Reis: Yeah, absolutely. Iit’s full when it’s a lot of responsibility, right.To be a lead or to be the front, of a show. And.
You have to take it in stride. And especially when here’s the deal, like everyone gets their first lead at some point, right? if you’re going to do leading roles, you have to do it.
You have to do it the first time sometime. And, I think it is, it’s a wonderful thing sometimes that, other people see in you what you might have some apprehension about still, but then you have to go trust that.
they made the right choice as well to do you know what they believe in me.
Dane Reis: Why not? I need to believe in me as well.
Frank Faucette: Yeah. Yeah. and then, the fact. you have that doubt. And I think it’s healthy to have that doubt, but then at a certain point, you have to build up your courage enough to face that and to actually address that and complete it. And like I said, it was one of the greatest things I had ever seen.
People said it was like, we were going to see a play on Broadway and we’re just here in Virginia doing it. It was like we were watching these students do this play. And like the compliments that I got after it, like it really kinda gave it, established me in a way. As a different kind of character. Now, like I said, there are no small roles. There are no small roles. Only small actors wouldn’t have the thing
Dane Reis: oh, I know what you’re talking about. It’s not coming. It’s not coming to
Frank Faucette: Something like that. But,yeah. There are no small roles. So any role is great. You know what I’m saying to be working is a blessing. Absolutely. But I’m saying when you have to. Literally carry a play and be on stage majority of the time. it’s a different beast and not everybody gets, it gets that, and if you have that opportunity, focus,
Dane Reis: yes. Good advice. Well,let’s piggyback on that real quick and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions, the callbacks, whatever it might be, whatever was part of it. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite booked it.
Frank Faucette: Ah, Yes.
my favorite book that moment was, when I re around the time I first moved to Los Angeles because I now live in Los Angeles. If I didn’t mention that, I am when I originally moved here because I’ve moved back and forth between the coast. I went on an audition. I had a great agent that was, giving me a lot of auditions in a very short period of time.
Frank Faucette: And something about when I was preparing this audition for a show called cold case, pretty sizeable guests role and, I went into the audition, just like, all right, I gotta do this thing. I literally, and this is going to be funny singer that was on the radio as I was driving them the streets.
and I had, I think I had done the first section already. It went pretty good with the casting and,basically I. One tickets, the only time I’ve ever won tickets for anything on the radio. And, I called into this radio show, driving down sunset Boulevard, my Chrysler Sebring. I thought I was, doing something big.
and literally this young lady gets on the phone says, oh, yes. hi. I would like to, it’s great to meet you. I can’t wait to meet you at the show. Potentially backstage. And I was like, oh great. a 16 year old girl named Rihanna, like literally. And so she had just dropped her first single was or whatever.
Frank Faucette: And they were doing a showcase for, at, a place on sunset Boulevard. So literally as I’m going to that show, I get a call. That I am supposed to go back to the studio where I did my audition for cold case and, meet the producers to do a producer section. so literally I go in, I take my friend with me who was also, I met her a while back.
One of the first people I met in LA Aliyah, not dearly, but my friend Aliyah and. I had to drop her off at the concert. We walked in and saw like the first few performances and Jay Z was hosting this event and Neil was just coming out So he was going to be there. It was like all these stars and his thing.
I think I met Tatiana Lee up in the, from the fresh prince of Bel-Air, who I had a crush on. As a kid, I met her up in the balcony, never got backstage to meet Ray. but my career came first and so I got my car left the Leah at the concert and went back to the studio and I literally. I was so much this role.
I was playing a Negro league baseball team owner, and he was one of the youngest black millionaire type. And I was like, that’s perfect type casting for me. Obviously I’m a young, black millionaire obviously. And when I got in there, every word came out of my mouth, like perfectly, and they felt it in there in the interview.
Frank Faucette: producers frown. And they called me as I was walking out of the studio telling
me I got the role.
Dane Reis: wow. That quick. Hey, that’s
Frank Faucette: it. Yeah.
Dane Reis: Yeah, we hate when you’re right. You’re right. And you know,what’s funny about, every it truly, when I think back every single time that I’ve booked a gig, booked a show, I knew that.
Frank Faucette: Yeah.
Dane Reis: is that weird? it’s okay. It’s an energy, it’s a feeling that you had to go, you know what?
Think it just did that
Frank Faucette: yeah, It’s the basketball analogy when you’re shooting a three-pointer and what’s going in
and you’re like, oh yeah.
Dane Reis: yeah, right there. It is exactly everything just for whatever reason, it’s all lined up and it’s hard to explain that feeling, but when it’s right,it’s right.
Frank Faucette: Yeah. But I was flying high
Dane Reis: Oh, yeah. That’s so cool. What a day? That’s awesome. let’s take a moment to talk about the present. what projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to?
And you know,we’re coming out the other side of this pandemic, it looks like at least, how do you see this industry moving forward in the next couple of years? Yeah.
Frank Faucette: Yeah, right now I’m actually, I’m working on two independent, short films. I submitted one to Sundance a couple of weeks ago. So fingers crossed on that. and post on another one right now, which I’m looking to meet a deadline for Sundance submission. So I’ve been working on both sides of the camera, I’m in both of these as well.
So it’s about green-lighting yourself. I’ve been audition like a fair amount addition for a while. I guess I can’t say the name of the film, but some big, pretty big Netflix films and stuff. And. What I’m starting to see right now is that the trend is leaning more towards, I don’t know. They’re basically looking to do things locally.
So I’d say there’s a lot of opportunity for people. If you know that a film is shooting in your local area to get an opportunity now to build that resume. Yeah.
So I think that’s one of the things that has come up the pandemic. They’re not doing a lot of shipping people back and forth different places.
Now you can, if you live in New York and LA, you can still get sent anywhere. But the fact of the matter is I think the local is now. The local is involved right now. It’s you can really come up in a market outside of New York and LA. And trust me, I’ve been to all of them in my many travels.
like a place like Atlanta right now. Like I started there maybe 2006, I had family there and, and just to watch. Industry building a place like Atlanta, like where it wasn’t a lot going on. We were going in for industrials and maybe the walking dead would come up. I remember the first season came up and it was a big deal and I got a friend that was on there.
Frank Faucette: You got a great opportunity there. So what I see as, the next couple years, as we’re gonna see a lot more people getting discovered from where they are. Wherever that might be if you live in another country, even like I think about the guy off of, captain Phillips, he was, he’s actually American needs from Minnesota though.
But,it went back to where he was from originally and, garnered some great opportunity from that. So be keep. Eyes and ears on a swivel right now, because there’s opportunity. That’s going to come to you. And I think that’s one of
Frank Faucette: the newest things.
Dane Reis: no. Very cool. I love that. That’s huge, great news for a lot of people out there. As well. And just to note it, like you said, keep your eyes, your ears, looking peeled on a swivel and look for that opportunity showing up, because I know there’s a lot of people out there wondering you’re like, oh, what do I do know?
they move back to home, whatever that might be, or they are plans are a little bit delayed because they’re not, taking off to the big city somewhere quite yet. And because the industry’s not quite back. So they’re like, whoa, I don’t know if that’s the right decision, but if opportunities are going to show up locally and if more and more opportunities are showing up locally, then that’s brilliant news, but you still gotta know to look for it.
Frank Faucette: Yeah, I literally had a friend who. struggled for years in Los Angeles, not necessarily struggled because he was able to keep himself motivated, but went back home to maybe Tennessee or something and got in a major film, got signed by the manager. He had always wanted to do. The agency and he, he did well.
He did very well after that, but it took him maybe making that leap back home, and, he was able to make a huge difference in his own life
by just that one move. And he could have stayed in LA and never really, blossomed the same way
Dane Reis: Right,
Frank Faucette: when I
use it. Good. He was good. He was going to get there.
Dane Reis: Brilliant. Well,it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?
Frank Faucette: I am ready.
Dane Reis: All right. First question.
What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an actor?
Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
you never know who you’re talking about. Cause they can be a
Frank Faucette: fan of you.
love that third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on?
Frank Faucette: Seeking out whoever is casting or going to make decisions in a project
Dane Reis: really good. You have to be your best, your own best advocate. And we’ve kind ofgone beyond the times of where you could leave that 100% in the hands of your agent, to your manager.
Frank Faucette: Right.It’s you gotta be proactive. I mean,if I could say
grease lightning, again, proactive being
Dane Reis: There we go.
. Fourth question. What is your best resource, whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career.
there’s always the YouTube video and it wasn’t YouTube video back in the day. Michael Kane on acting.
Frank Faucette: Yeah. Michael Caine talks about film acting.
Dane Reis: So good fifth question. If you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
Frank Faucette: I would be more aggressive with my, I think as a 20 something, you can make mistakes a lot and not suffer many conflicts consequences. It’s a little harder when you get older
Dane Reis: And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your career that you’d like to share with our listeners?
yeah, to. Value and utilize your network because the people that you are meeting day by day, we’ll be able to help you at certain points in your career later in life. build
Frank Faucette: your network.
Dane Reis: So glad you brought that up. I say it comes up or when I say it all the time on this podcast that this industry is all about relationships and I think. Yes, you can have, you know,you can book a handful of gigs, handful of jobs with out much of a network. Sure. but if you are planning on having a career, making this,having longevity, I should say, in this career, you need that network.
It doesn’t nothing happens without that.
Frank Faucette: Yeah. Yeah, for sure.
Dane Reis: So important. and to wrap up this interview, Yeah, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
make sure you catch me on ignite your acting career podcast, where wherever you get podcasts. I’m Frank falls set on most social media platforms, Instagram, Twitter, And I’m also, ignite, acting on Twitter on Instagram as well. You can leave me a question, whatever might get to it and answer it on the podcast.
Frank Faucette: But yeah. Thank you for having me.
Dane Reis: Brilliant. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Frank just said into the description of this episodes, you can easily connect with him and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know,aspiring to create a career in the entertainment.
Industry it is integral to helping them succeed in helping you create a better, more fulfilling career in this crazy industry. We all love so much. if you enjoyed this episode, please hit that subscribe button. So you don’t miss the next one. Frank, thank you so much for being here.
Frank Faucette: Thank
Dane Reis: that you could come on.
Frank Faucette: Appreciate it. Ma’am anytime we can do this
again. I like it.