We had the good fortune of connecting with Carson Grant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carson, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My whole life has been about risk taking and performing in fascinating projects. Whether at 18 yrs. old, dropping out of University of Rhode Island and moving to NYC in 1970 to study method technique with Lee Strasberg or at 68 yrs. old packing my belongings into a 24-ft truck to drive cross-country relocating to LA to explore higher-end film projects, I have not lost my tenacity to take chances to explore literally new territories in performing. Risk tasking has kept the smile on my face my entire life, and as a senior, I have not slowed down.
Five years ago, in the film “One Penny” in the role of ‘Professor Allen’ I was strapped in protective gear and for several days rehearsed with a stunt expert how to flip 220 lb. stuntmen and be flipped, throw-dodge punches and knives, stab knives into walls and floors inches from the stuntmen’s faces, all to save my adopted son and halt the evil-doers criminal behavior. At the end of each day’s work out, I roasted my achy weary body in the hotel jacuzzi, and slept deeply.
A recent risk-taking experience was to travel during the outbreak of Covid internationally to Manaus, Brazil in October 2020 to create the role of ‘Francisco Santos’ in the film “Amazon Queen” directed by Marlin Darrah. Covid tested before and upon arrival, fourteen very talented cast and crew boarded a riverboat for a 21-day journey along the Rio Negro through the Amazon Rainforest. Experience with
A favorite comment, “With Courage you will dare to take risks. Have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.” quote by Mark Twain (1800s).
“I encourage all who feel the passion to perform at whatever age, to grab the reins of your spirit and ride them furiously through your life’s desires.” quote by Carson Grant (2021).
Another challenging risk I enjoy is singing, and fortunately I was cast in recent years in two memorable musicals. In NYC “Gilgamesh”, as ‘Utnapishtim’ composed by Ian Wehrle, directed by Peter Petkovsek at the Connelly Theater; and in LA “Hollywood Ghost Stories’, as ‘Ivan the Ghost’ written and lyrics by Marilyn Haese, and music composed by Joelle Sahar, directed by John Coppola at the New Musical, Inc., N. Hollywood.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After earning my SAG card for a 1972 famed commercial campaign, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”, I then joined AFTRA and AEA, to become a proud union member seeking quality acting employment. In my early years, thrilled to be part of the film industry, I worked as an extra on some big budget films, but soon realized my true passion to create characters was not being addressed.
Fifty years in NYC between paying and non-paying acting gigs, and creating artwork installation, I supplemented my living expenses with side jobs: taxi driver, CBS mailroom, apartment carpentry for others, computer graphics and editor, art exhibit curator, teacher for English and writing adult education courses. Maybe not your regular 9-5 type of life, but offered me an easier schedule to attend my performance classes in acting, singing and dance.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If in New York City, I would recommend touring the Metropolitan Museum Cloisters, specializing in European Medieval Art and architecture with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic period, surrounded by herbal and floral gardens and the famous American Revolution Fort Tryon in Washington Heights, northern Manhattan. Taking lunch at the nearby lovely stone front country cottage restaurant with an old English menu. Take the A train to 168 Street.
If in Los Angeles, traveling Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway with breathtaking views, wonderful beach and mountain trails, and eateries for all palettes. Rent a car for ease, and stay at any of the hundreds of motels and hotels, while enjoying California’s amazing weather.
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?
To all my teachers and elders throughout my life who guided my mind and my spirit to imagine a more beautiful world filled with love, compassion, understanding, kindness, altruism, and a pride of self-worth, I stand a beacon echoing your lessons.
Alfonso DiLuca, Amazon photo Dana Halsted Moss, casual photo