We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Capozzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mike, what do you attribute your success to?
The long and short of it… doing what I wanted to do. As an actor and filmmaker, I’ve been constantly told “don’t do this” or “you shouldn’t do that” but when it came to the trumpet, I played the way I want. A friend of mine called it “warts and all” because I would play unfiltered; not caring if I was a little bit out of tune or if anyone enjoyed it other than myself. That changed everything for me in my entire professional career, both as a trumpet player and an actor. I continue to work on my craft to get better and enjoy the entire process but when I present what I do as an artist, all the care and worry goes out the window because I enjoy what I get to do. While the fame or recognition didn’t come right away, I had to remind myself that those perks, while great, aren’t the reason to do what I do.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I grew up watching Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges… the list can go on from that era of film. At 9 years old, between watching Phil Driscoll play trumpet at a church and then hearing Maynard Ferguson in the orchestra of a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie, the interest in playing the trumpet was sparked. While the attempt at majoring in music performance was cut short after failing Music Theory 3 times, I did continue to use the practice rooms (and get kicked out of them) to keep my chops in shape. When I started to fully pursue a career in film and television, I thought my trumpet playing days were over so I sold my trumpet… an extremely rare one, and went about my business. I started doing improv shows under the direction of Gary Austin (the founder of The Groundlings) and he asked me if I would do a solo show. In the midst of preparation for that, he encouraged me to find an old trumpet and use it in the shows. I forgot how much I missed playing. I began practicing more and more until I got my chops back and the horn became a staple in most of my improv shows.

That nutshell paragraph brings us to the pandemic when I would rent out a private studio to practice. The filmmaker in me had an idea to film myself playing next to a more reserved, professional version of myself and I titled it “What it’s like playing next to me”. Well, little did I know, this would spark interest from many people on the internet. TikTok to be specific. That video exploded with views and requests for much more of the duo. I should mention, there are still people to this day that think “we” are two separate people. For the sake of the fun, I don’t correct them.

While I continue to work in Film and Television and have a good number of projects in development, I continue to go to the studio to record every week. The joy I get from a lot of the people commenting is what keeps me going. The big realization is, however, that I would do it all the same just for myself. That’s what changed my life. I have so much joy getting to go in and play some silliness, and sometimes some nice ballads to even it out. The major challenge is the financial aspect. I live in an apartment in North Hollywood. I can’t do this type of work in the apartment so I decided to start a Patreon (Patreon.com/mikecapozzi) asking for some help from those who were interested in helping me monetarily. It’s not my favorite part of the job but then again, it is a job and I am providing entertainment so I had to give myself a good kick in the pants to remind myself of that fact.

I’m grateful for the hard lessons over my 17 years in L.A. Getting scammed and having to live in my car, fighting depression that I didn’t know how to handle even though I have a bachelors degree in psychology with a focus in marriage and family therapy, and of course – insert crying emoji – selling that one trumpet I’ll never get back. But I’m glad I never let those (and many others) keep me from continuing on. I’m very happy with where my career is going.

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.
I’m a creature of habit and I have a very select few spots that I frequent so if, let’s say my best friend Dre rolled into town, we’re definitely going to The Federal bar in Noho. It has been my favorite spot for people watching, meeting people and enjoying the food and drinks. Next we’d head on out to the best beach in driving distance, El Matador Beach. It was the first beach I visited when I moved to L.A. and continues to be the only beach I’ll go to. We’d stop at the Malibu Cigar Lounge on the way back for a good cigar and great conversation with whoever happens to be there because there are always amazing people hanging around. On the way back into town, a great night out would be a stop at The Three Clubs in Hollywood and then rinse and repeat all over again. I know, may sound boring to do the same things every day but like I said… creature of habit.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would have never pursued anything outside of my comfort zones early on in life if it wasn’t for my entire family. My father, mother and three younger brothers are all the reasons I keep going in what is arguably the most competitive work field. There was never a conversation that happened telling me to “not” pursue this career. The best words of encouragement were just what I needed to hear: “Go do it”. My best friend since college, Dre, has been with me through all my adventures of life and to this day, 20 something years later, he continues to be my closest confidant and biggest encourager. Creatively, I would most likely not be where I am today if it weren’t for my good friend and incredible actor/filmmaker, Jim Klock. He not only saw the technical skillset I brought to a creative field but included me in his projects when most would not. He’s introduced me to countless industry folk and we work very well together, encouraging one another in every aspect.

I could absolutely go on and mention countless more people who deserve to be thanked publicly but they should all know who they are because I continue to thank them every time I speak with them.

Website: www.mikecapozzi.com

Instagram: instagram.com/mikecapozzi

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCujj8gFvHGRgNe7gdKKh9Tw

Other: tiktok.com/@mikecapozzi (where all the trumpet nonsense happens) Oh, and Patreon.com/mikecapozzi for those really interested in helping out a creative be able to do all the things. Anyone who joins goes to the front of the line when they request songs to be played by the duo trumpet players. Well, and the solo stuff for that matter.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.