We had the good fortune of connecting with Billy Dunston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Billy, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I feel like my drive to keep improving is key to my success. Everyday I make time to do some task relating to the entertainment industry. it could be 5 minutes or several hours. From bigger task like reading books and taking classes to taking notes on media and listening to podcast. I believe no mater how small the improvement is, my craft is something that has to worked on every day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started acting seriously just before pandemic. Before then I served in the military as an Airborne Ranger and Reconnaissance team leader for 13 years. I had be dealing with depression for a long time and I know now that it was because I had little time for art. I was nervous with film being a viable medium for me to create and the pandemic didn’t make it any easier. I only had on IMDB credit to my name before everything shut down. I didn’t want to wait around complacent for things to get better and not be ready when they were so I started studying. I read books by Stanislavski, Misner, Adler and everything else I could get my hands on. I took Zoom and small in person classes and when things opened up I hit the ground running. Since 2020 I’ve been lucky enough to work for brands like Jeep, Good year, and Activision as well as a lead on the show “Quicksand” and a series regular on “Tavern Brawl”. I have learned that life will always and frequently throw curve balls at you. Our lives are determined by how we have prepared for them and how willing we are to grow from that. I made a polar opposite career switch after 30. I am successful in it because of my passion and dedication to my craft. Take the risk and dive in head first.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Most of m friends are into fitness stuff so first we would have to hit Venice Beach and Golds gym. That the holy grail of bodybuilding and always warrants a stop. Next would be the Gracie Barra Brazilian Jujitsu academy in LA. My good buddy Angel Cortez trains there and he also knows the best places to eat following a long day of training.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I like like to shout out Jack Murillo and Billy Jay. Both of them have acted as mentors to me while navigating the industry. Jack has bee there to give me encouragement and guide me in front of the camera. He’s helped me examine my work with a fine lens leading me to make necessary and some times uncomfortable changes. Bill Jay has been my guide to off camera mentorship in the film industry. He has help me with more mundane stuff like how to file taxes as an actor to leading me to signing with my agent Mary Dangerfield. Without both of them I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am as an actor today.
Lance Allen Ries