We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Galante and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.”
This quote is perfect. The epitome of a champion mindset. The idea that there is no failure, there is only growth. And, in my opinion, if you have continued growth throughout your life/career, you will always be on the right path towards achieving your goals.
For myself, and I think I can speak for a majority of artists, a performing arts career can be a daunting endeavor full of obstacles, rejection and uncertainty. The only thing that has carried me through the “hard” times is my love for the craft of acting, and my desire to grow as an artist on the daily. I realized, pretty early on, that if I focused solely on being the best artist I can be, rather than the obstacles of the industry, then my work would grow stronger and stronger, which would ultimately lead me to success.
I think Mandela’s quote beautifully summarizes and combines the concepts of perseverance and humility. “Never giving up” is a fantastic motivational tool, but it’s equally important to always be learning from your mistakes and working on your weaknesses.
A small anecdote: Growing up, I was an accomplished soccer player all the way through college with aspirations of playing professionally. The glaring weakness in my game was my left foot. I was essentially a one footed player and never took the time to develop or fix the problem. Because of arrogance and lack of discipline, that limitation prevented me from playing at a higher level. Definitely a large regret in my life.
I made sure not to make the same mistake in my acting career. The diligent and consistent work on the craft has absolutely been crucial to the success I’ve had in the past few years.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
In terms of career aspects, I think I’m proudest of actually having one! It has been a long journey with lots of ebbs and flows, but I am happy and proud to say that I achieved my dream of making a living as an actor. I’ll never forget the day I attended my first acting class in New York City at Terry Schreiber Studio watching these incredibly talented people perform. I was in awe and completely mesmerized by what I was observing. I remember saying to myself, “I want this to be my job. I want to get paid to MOVE people.” And the quest to achieve that began. It was not easy! But with a lot of hard work, determination, and the dedication to growth, it eventually happened. There was probably some luck involved too, of course!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I need to give a massive shoutout to my wonderful parents for teaching me important principles and values from a very young age. Humility and “being of service to others” has helped me throughout my life. I probably live my life full of gratitude because my parents would remind me that there were always others who had a lot less. As a result, I don’t take anything in my life for granted.
I also need to give credit to my long term girlfriend/partner who has been a rock in my life ever since I moved to Los Angeles. She has always been there to soften the blows, but has also inspired me to strive forward, and be relentless in my quest to achieve. She saw my potential to be successful in this industry and her advice and guidance helped propel me to the next level. She has been, undoubtedly, a crucial part of my success in this industry.
Lastly, I cannot leave out a very important colleague and friend. I met Tyler Perry when he hired me to play Sandy Malone on Season 5 of his hit show, “The Haves and the Have Nots. My initial contract was for 2 episodes. My character ended up appearing in 25 episodes spanning 4 seasons. I could not be more grateful to work alongside and become friends with such a talented, generous human being. There are a lot of incredibly gifted artists in this industry, but they are not all fantastic people. You will not find a better guy than Tyler Perry. His philanthropic efforts, work ethic, and dedication to humanity should be an inspiration to us all.