Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro

Anthony on YouTube

EP 99: Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it, episode 99. 

[00:00:05] All right. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Anthony Pagliaro, are you ready for this Anthony? 

[00:00:14]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:00:14] I sure am. 

[00:00:15]Dane Reis: [00:00:15] All right. Anthony started his personal journey in fitness at seven years old, beginning with martial arts and then baseball. As he grew older, he received his certified medical assistant degree while going to school for personal training and nutrition. He also served in the U S air force for six years. 

[00:00:34] After his military service, he started his professional mixed martial arts career. And still to this day, he fights and coaches other fighters while loving his fitness journey. He began looking into acting and background work first, doing multiple TV shows and movies simply as an extra and stand in. But eventually he began to become noticed, which has landed him bigger roles and stunt work. 

[00:00:57]Anthony. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, filling the gaps, who you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:01:12]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:01:12] So I’m originally from upstate New York and a little place called Kingston, which a lot of people don’t know was actually the first capital of New York. I really don’t know who I am yet. You know, there’s always the ups and downs in life and you always try to figure out what you want to do or where you want to go. I don’t compare myself to anybody else on my own person. And I think that’s what. 

[00:01:30]Life is about, is just making your own, your own self. As far as calling somewhere home. I really don’t consider having a home. I like to travel a lot. I like to move around a lot. And as you know, you know, in the entertainment industry, we do a lot of traveling and we really can’t settle down anywhere. 

[00:01:44]Like you said, I started my background work and standing right after in the military. And ever since then, it’s just been an uphill, uphill climb. 

[00:01:51]Dane Reis: [00:01:51] Beautiful and you’re right. Yeah. Us as entertainers. We are we’re here, there, everywhere, all over the place all the time. But that I think is one of the most fun parts of this entire journey. 

[00:02:02]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:02:02] Yes, definitely. 

[00:02:03]Dane Reis: [00:02:03] All right. Well, Well, let’s move on to this section here. And Anthony, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone. 

[00:02:15]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:02:15] So I really don’t have a favorite quote. It’s actually my quote that I’ve kind of grew up and made my own. Um, and it says, uh, you can either live your life and enjoy every. Uh, moment being adventurous and happy in what you do. Or you can let life live view. 

[00:02:28]Dane Reis: [00:02:28] Absolutely. Absolutely. And can you expand on how you’ve developed that quote for yourself and how that has played out throughout your career and your entire life? 

[00:02:40]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:02:40] Um, you know, I pretty much tell everybody, you know, especially my clients, especially my teammate. Anybody that I work with, you know, um, I worked with a lot of kids and teenagers. And, you know, we always have to kind of show them the way or lead them. Cause they always look up to you. why do you have to, you know, sit and dwell on the little things when there’s so much more in life that you can enjoy? 

[00:02:57] And have fun with, you know, why would you want to sit there and. And dwell on, Oh, what’s going to happen. Come payday. You know what, why am I making enough to do this? No. Why don’t you just live day to day and enjoy everything that you’re doing that day. And then worry about that stuff when you get to it. 

[00:03:13]Dane Reis: [00:03:13] Yeah, I like that. Be present, be in the now. 

[00:03:17]Wonderful. Well, let’s move on to this next section. And Anthony, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now. 

[00:03:42] Takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, there was no rages amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. Uh, we are going to 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. 

[00:04:08]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:04:08] Being a fighter being an. Athlete being in the entertainment industry, you’re always gonna have the people that love what you do and support you. And then you’re going to have the haters, um, being a fighter and being an athlete. We have more haters than we do. Actual people that support us guaranteed. If you were to look at ticket sales or people that come to fights, most of those people that buy tickets are haters because they want to see you fail. They want to see you. 

[00:04:33]You know, hit bottom. They don’t want you to go up to the top. They don’t want you to two 60. They just want to keep you down to their level. You know, it kind of goes along the saying, um, misery likes company.  growing up. I had a big issues with, um, family. My biological father. . 

[00:04:48]Really didn’t pay attention to me. He was always dropping me off at my Poppy’s house. Um, my aunts, my uncles, my friends, There was times where. I just felt like he didn’t want me or he didn’t want me around. And that’s why he would drop me off. So to me, that’s one of the biggest negative obstacles that I’ve had to overcome. It’s for the longest time was I tried to prove myself to him. And I’d always do things just to make myself look good in his eyes. And I really didn’t care what anybody else thought. I really didn’t care if it hurt me or if I get injured doing it. 

[00:05:18] Or what was going on? I just wanted his. I wanted his approval. 

[00:05:23]Dane Reis: [00:05:23] Hmm. Hmm.

[00:05:23] Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:05:23] Um, 

[00:05:23] Eventually later on, um, Sorry, I kind of gets me. Emotional, um, I finally. Call them up and talk to him and explain to him, look. You know, I’m 30 years old. I wanted your approval. I wanted a dad. I wanted someone to look up to. I wanted somebody to be there. I wanted somebody to. Be at my movie premiere beer at my fights to be. 

[00:05:43]To be there. And I said, either you’re going to be with me and support me, or I just, I don’t want you part of it. He said, I don’t, I don’t want your negative. 

[00:05:51]And negative comments or negative outlook on it. every time I talk to you or I post something, you’re always putting something negative on Facebook or on Instagram or every time I’m calling you. You’re. Oh, that’s good. So how’s this person doing? You know, you’d never really cared about what I thought. So I said, 

[00:06:07]It’s time that you either you make the choice either you want to be in my life and support me or just don’t, don’t be there. 

[00:06:13]So I think that that’s probably one of the hardest. Obstacles I’ve had to come over. 

[00:06:17]Dane Reis: [00:06:17] Yeah, absolutely. Man, that is really full on. And, it’s great to hear that, you know, you’ve ,  took that stuff for yourself and you said, look, You had to come to that realization that said, I need to be in control of my life, of my happiness, of my art, of what I’m accomplishing in this world. And in this life. 


[00:06:35]I need people that are on board with that, and they’re going to support me and that’s, what’s most important and it, and it takes a lot of time to even come to that realization, you know, us as people. And it’s amazing that you’ve reached that part. 

[00:06:47]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:06:47] Yeah, it’s definitely. It’s definitely still hurts. You know, I’m constantly asking other families, you know, my, my aunts, my uncles, you know, Did I ask them, Hey, did I do the right thing? That I’ve been, you know, should I have said that or should I have said it a different way or, you know, and they all told me no. 

[00:07:02]You, you need to move on. You need to do what you want to do and be happy. 

[00:07:06]Dane Reis: [00:07:06] Yeah. And that’s good and you are, and that’s fantastic. 

[00:07:09]Well, Well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your. Spotlight moment.

[00:07:17] That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or. Maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing in the entertainment industry. Tell us about that.

[00:07:32]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:07:32] Um, I have a lot of moments, you know, especially with the fighting, um, doing the background work or doing standing work. Um, 

[00:07:38] My, I would have to say my favorite moment.  well, it was beyond the set of when I was doing magnificent seven. Uh, with Ethan Hawke and Chris and Chris Pratt. 

[00:07:47] Um, We were on set and during the three days that I was there with them on set. react actually got to interact with Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt because you know, we’re out of standing. So we were around them 24 seven. And afterwards they took out. it took. Myself, my brother. And two of the girls that were there on set, it took us all out to, to, to drink with them. 

[00:08:09]And just hanging out with them and being with them and seeing. A different side of them, you know, then the actor and then the person. 

[00:08:17] It, it made me realize, you know what, maybe actors are really down to earth. Party, you know, fun. Happy. People, I think that’s something I want to get into. 

[00:08:27]Dane Reis: [00:08:27] Yeah, 100%. And, you know, I can relate to that experience, not with being going out to drinks with even Hawker, you know, but with being around very successful people, Or. Celebrities, if you will. And.   The most profound thing that struck me about being around those people is that there. 

[00:08:43]People they’re just normal people that just so happened to be very talented or very successful in whatever it is that they do. But. There’s nothing. Mythical about them. Right. And that I remember the first time that happened, I was at an event and I think it was Quincy Jones. Was there. Oprah was there. Steven Spielberg was there. 

[00:09:01] And I was like, Oh my God. You see these people on TV all the time and you know about their works, but let me see him in person. They’re just, they’re just normal, great people. And I think oftentimes we forget that. 

[00:09:12]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:09:12] Yeah. It’s a big. You know, just like, uh, The fighter. Uh, what’s the word I’m looking for? The fighter. Um, Patrona. Or is it the fighter look that everybody has is, you know, Oh, look, he’s a fighter. He’s got the cocky dude. He’s got the bad attitude, you know, don’t, he was probably an asshole or this or that. 

[00:09:27] And most of us are the kindest loving, as they would say, the big Teddy bear. 

[00:09:32]Dane Reis: [00:09:32] You’re right. 

[00:09:33]so funny how that all works out. Isn’t it. 

[00:09:35] Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:09:35] Yes, it is. 

[00:09:37]Dane Reis: [00:09:37] All right. Well, let’s piggyback on that moment and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it. What was going on in your life. And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book? Did moment. 

[00:09:57]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:09:57] I would have to say my favorite book. That moment is when I got the lead role in a movie called the pandering, which actually just, we just had a movie premiere last Saturday. Um, and then. Thank you. And I just found out from the producer, uh, two days ago that it’s going to be going on prime video and Hulu. 

[00:10:14] So that was a big, like, 

[00:10:16] I can’t even, I can’t explain the feeling the. The thoughts, you know, You know, I broke down and had a. I can’t. I know it’s kind of weird to say, but I, I broke down and had a come to Jesus moment. Where. I felt like, you know, like, you know, what. I can do this. I did do it. You know, what, what, what was I thinking? Why was it listening to all those, the haters that then the negativity, you know, I pushed through it. Why can’t somebody else? And that’s. 

[00:10:39] Kinda long lines of, of my, my quote to have, you know, if I can do it, I can help somebody else do it, or I can show somebody else that they can do it. But along with that, my book at MoMA was, was getting the lead role in the pandering. I was actually sitting at my house. I’m watching my favorite TV show called supernatural. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched that. 

[00:10:57] Um, And I was just having an. I don’t know, I was just having an off day. You know, I woke up tired. Didn’t want to do anything. I just want him to sit. Didn’t want to talk to anybody. Didn’t want to be around anybody. And I got a call, a phone call from the producer saying, Hey. Uh, you know, would you like to , you know, 

[00:11:14] I’ll do this little audition for us. He told me about the, you know, the movie he wants to produce. And then we were reading in details and I was like, Sure why not? You know, it’s kind of kind of like a shock to me. Cause I’ve done everything. I’ve never had an agent. I never had a manager. I’ve done everything myself. So I’ve made the calls. I’ve contacted people. I’ve done it myself. So for that to happen, 

[00:11:35]Was a big shock. Um, So, you know, I did the audition on over the phone, which was totally weird. Um, You know, seeing myself on the screen and talking into a screen is, is different than actually looking at people and able to interact with them. And about two hours later. I got a phone call back and it’s a good thing. I answered the phone because it was a weird number. 

[00:11:55]And they said, Hey, can you be on set tomorrow? And I was like, Oh, what did you just say? 

[00:12:03] So that was, that was probably my number one. Like. Having moment booked it moment. 

[00:12:08]Dane Reis: [00:12:08] Yeah, I love that. I love that you’ve created everything and all your opportunities yourself, and you’ve gone out there and make things happen for yourself. And to see it all come to fruition. And now it’s your movies. 

[00:12:22] Being premiered. And now it’s going to be on massive distribution networks. That must it’s like cloud nine. I can only imagine. And 

[00:12:30] Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:12:30] Oh, yeah.

[00:12:31] Dane Reis: [00:12:31] in everything you’ve done. 

[00:12:32]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:12:32] Yeah. It’s it feels so awesome. 

[00:12:35] Dane Reis: [00:12:35] That’s amazing. Congratulations, man.

[00:12:38] And  let’s move on and talk about the present for a bit. What projects are you currently working on? What are you looking forward to? And you know, you know, we are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years? 

[00:12:56]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:12:56] as of right now, my. Entertainment career. A lot of people know is on hold because of all this, you know, COVID stuff. I’m like I said, I’m a personal trainer, a nutritionist. So right now I’m focused on my clients. Most of the time. Um, I love giving them new ideas. I like helping them. . I’ve gotten closer to a lot of my clients because I can actually be with them.  Um, As far as. 

[00:13:17]The entertainment world. 

[00:13:19] I really don’t know it could go up, it could go down. A lot of people say, if this continues, they’re going to be, uh, you know, there’s going to be a big depression. I just got done talking with my producer. When you said none of the bars are opening up until November in Vegas. So I know Vegas is getting hit big time with their, you know, financial outlook and entertainment out there. 

[00:13:37]Um, So, yeah, I really. 

[00:13:39]I really don’t know about the entertainment world. I mean, I’m going to keep pushing and keep striving. That’s the way you gotta look at it and there’s always ups. There’s always downs, but you just gotta push past them. 

[00:13:47]Dane Reis: [00:13:47] Yeah, absolutely love the insight. And it’s time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. 

[00:13:57] 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? 

[00:14:06]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:14:06] is there a buzzer or a stop button? 

[00:14:11] Dane Reis: [00:14:11] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer? 

[00:14:18]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:14:18] I would have to say money was probably the biggest. 

[00:14:21]Dane Reis: [00:14:21] Yes. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

[00:14:27]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:14:27] On the best. Ooh. The best advice I’ve ever received probably would be coming from my poppy. Um, he made me, I was probably about six or seven years old. He made me dig a hole. Which took me probably about two and a half to three hours. And then. An hour later, he goes, all right. And I’ll go fill it up. And I was like, what? I just dug a hole for you. That took me two and a half, three hours. Now you want me to bury it? And then come probably about 13 or 14 years old. , uh, I asked him, I said, you know what, Papi, what, why did you make me do that? And it goes to learn a life lesson and he goes, this is what I’m going to tell you. He goes, no matter how deep or how far you feel. Yeah, you can always come out of it and you can always come out stronger. 

[00:15:08]Dane Reis: [00:15:08] I love that such a good metaphor in making you do it physically. Wow. That’s powerful. And the 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? Pause. 

[00:15:26]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:15:26] Um, something that is working for me now is I actually have an agent. 

[00:15:29]So, yes. So I’ve actually got an agent now. So I spend a lot of my, you know, my portfolio’s, my headshot, my, my reels. I sent it to her and I just sit back and let somebody else do the work for change. You know, I think I’ve. Come to that point in my life where I can sit back and let somebody take over. 

[00:15:46]Dane Reis: [00:15:46] Right on. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether it’s a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now. 

[00:16:00]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:16:00] Um, well, other than my agent, I would have to say the best resource that I’ve found, um, other than doing my own research and, uh, you know, like on, I am DB and an Instagram and Facebook. Um, I’m actually part of a group called the Las Vegas actors and a lot of, um, agents and, you know, an independent people post things on there. And I’ve kind of gone on there and done a lot of things on that. 

[00:16:21]Dane Reis: [00:16:21] Oh, fantastic. Great resource. And the 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. 

[00:16:35] What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same? 

[00:16:40]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:16:40] Ooh, tough question. Um, You know, Everybody wants to say. And, you know, I wish I had a time machine to go back to this day are back to that time. Um, honestly, I would not. Do anything differently? Other than maybe having an agent. And, and have somebody do the work for me instead of doing it myself. But as far as the knowledge, they explain the experience. growing up, I don’t think I would change any of it. 

[00:17:03]Dane Reis: [00:17:03] Beautiful. Love it. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with everyone? 

[00:17:15]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:17:15] No matter. You know, I hate to use my puppies. Metaphor, but no matter how deep you feel. No matter how. Alone or no matter how. Uh, depressed or getting you can. No, you can use that and use that as a strength and push forward and keep pushing forward. , it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. It’s how many times you can get back up. 

[00:17:34]Dane Reis: [00:17:34] Absolutely. Well Well said. And to wrap up this interview, Anthony, it is time to give yourself a plug. 

[00:17:42] Where can we find you? how do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote? 

[00:17:48]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:17:48] Um, as far as having my links and telling them everybody, you know, go to WW dot, dot, dot, all this stuff. Um, I have an Instagram page it’s called tap out eight three, six, three. On there is my link tree, link you click on that. It has my YouTube channel.  my sponsors, you know, if you want to get supplements, nutrition, um, and also has my information. If you want to get personal training, which I do over video or in your house or in your garage. Um, no matter where you are, I can do it. Um, and as far as promotion. Just promoting myself and get myself out there. 

[00:18:19]Dane Reis: [00:18:19] Beautiful. 

[00:18:20]And for everyone listening out there, I have put the link to Anthony’s Instagram in the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with him. Anthony, thank you so much for being here today and sharing your journey with all of us.

[00:18:34]Anthony “Topgun” Pagliaro: [00:18:34] You’re very welcome. It was a pleasure.