We had the good fortune of connecting with Erik Russo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erik, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I chose an artistc career to inspire my daughter.
Growing up in Providence, RI for over 40 years and moving to Los Angeles, CA was an abrubt change for me. Year in year out, I felt my life was idle in my 9-5, 40 hour a week graphic design job for a corporation. Sure I was getting by, but that didn’t mean I was living.
I knew Los Angerles was a mecca for artists, filmmakers, visionaries and creatives. Finding myself being a divorced single dad living in Rhode Island, with my daughter far away in Florida, I decided to take a chance, give up almost everything up from my old life and pursue an existence more fulfilling.
I packed up everything that I could into a Fiat 500 and drove across the country with high hopes and prayers that the Lord wouldn’t slow me down.
That was three years ago.
Today, I have acted in numerous films, television series, produced, directed, and found my way into every every aspect of the film/television industry through hard work, diligence, patience and a bottle or two full of luck.
I wanted to show my daughter, who is turning 12 years old in June, that you CAN turn your life around at ANY age. I wanted to instill within her that she is an enpowered female that can choose any path in life that brings her success and fulfillment.
She is the reason I stay creative.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being a lifelong Rhode Islander and moving to. Los Angeles has been the most important decision I have ever made in my artistic career. I shifted gears from a fulltime graphic design to acting and filmmaking. It certainly wasn’t easy and a lot of the locals thought I was insane for uprooting my whole life out of lil ol Rhody. But I stood by my decision I made three years ago, and my output of work and professional friendships in the film industry I have made speak for themselves.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d say let’s get out of the city and head on up the 101 North for a three hour road trip to Morro Bay. It’s a seaside community that reminds me of growing up in New England. Fresh seafood, mom and pop shops, the sound of the Pacific Ocean splashing against the docks. Not to mention the giant Close Encounters Of The Third Kind-esque land mass in the middle of the water. Perfect cool temperature and lots of wine drinking make for an amazing trek.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my fellow Sagittarius friend, Heather Sisson, a local Rhode Island artist, that has supported me for several years. She’s been there through the tears, meltdowns, and hysterical laughter. Please check out her website at: www.heathersuesisson.com