In Reflection: A Conversation with Michael Vlamis

In Reflection: A Conversation with Michael Vlamis

In Reflection: A Conversation with Michael Vlamis

Michael is an actor based in Los Angeles. He's known for his work on The CW's "Roswell, New Mexico." The second season of Roswell dropped on Netflix this week. Photos by Davy Kesey for his Reflections series, a photographic pursuit of vulnerable, multifaceted, and deeply personal portraits.

Michael is an actor based in Los Angeles. He's known for his work on The CW's "Roswell, New Mexico." The second season of Roswell dropped on Netflix this week. Photos by Davy Kesey for his Reflections series, a photographic pursuit of vulnerable, multifaceted, and deeply personal portraits.

Michael is an actor based in Los Angeles. He's known for his work on The CW's "Roswell, New Mexico." The second season of Roswell dropped on Netflix this week. Photos by Davy Kesey for his Reflections series, a photographic pursuit of vulnerable, multifaceted, and deeply personal portraits.

Michael is an actor based in Los Angeles. He's known for his work on The CW's "Roswell, New Mexico." The second season of Roswell dropped on Netflix this week. Photos by Davy Kesey for his Reflections series, a photographic pursuit of vulnerable, multifaceted, and deeply personal portraits.

CARIANN BRADLEY: What did your day to day look like filming the second season of "Roswell, New Mexico?" I know in our first chat together several months ago, you told me you tapped into your friend passing away this time last year. Can you explain to me your process?

MICHAEL VLAMIS: Season two of "Roswell" — it was crazy because so many things happened to me personally going into the season. A buddy of mine passed away; I recovered his body in the middle of an ocean after a freak boating accident . Friends and I were out in Panama, Central America, for a bachelor party and it went from the greatest time ever to one of the most wild experiences of my life. The kid that we lost was one of my childhood best friends. 

That happened in May. Shortly after that, I tore my meniscus in my right knee, which is the third time I’ve done that, so I underwent surgery at the end of July. Once that surgery happened, I had to report to the set of "Roswell" about three days later. I couldn’t drive, so one of my roommates actually drove me out to Santa Fe — my roommate Roarke Anderson who I have lived with since college, we played baseball together at Chapman. And then I get out to the shoot and everybody is so worried about me because of my knee surgery. I’m limping and it’s hard for me to be standing on set or doing any physical contact and everybody is babying me so hard! I’m really bad at taking help. The "Roswell" cast and crew were so supportive, so helpful — they got me my own custom chair that I could sit in so my knee would heal quicker. 

They were doing all of these things, going out of their way, and I don’t know if it’s a thing that I have — pride or ego or my stubbornness — but taking help from people, even when I need it, is tough for me. I was taking all of this help and then three weeks into shooting, the doctor said, “You can drive, but you don’t want to be hitting the break too hard; take care of your knee.” And on my way to set one morning, a priest turned right in front of me at a green light and I smoked this guy in my car; I totaled my car. He got knocked unconscious, but luckily he was okay, everything worked out — he was healthy, he got taken away from the scene but was able to walk away from the hospital and was doing fine. Right at that time, I was really just feeling the death of my friend, the knee surgery, the car accident — meanwhile, Max, my brother in the show, played by Nathan Parsons of course, is dead in the series. 

CARIANN BRADLEY: What did your day to day look like filming the second season of "Roswell, New Mexico?" I know in our first chat together several months ago, you told me you tapped into your friend passing away this time last year. Can you explain to me your process?

MICHAEL VLAMIS: Season two of "Roswell" — it was crazy because so many things happened to me personally going into the season. A buddy of mine passed away; I recovered his body in the middle of an ocean after a freak boating accident . Friends and I were out in Panama, Central America, for a bachelor party and it went from the greatest time ever to one of the most wild experiences of my life. The kid that we lost was one of my childhood best friends. 

That happened in May. Shortly after that, I tore my meniscus in my right knee, which is the third time I’ve done that, so I underwent surgery at the end of July. Once that surgery happened, I had to report to the set of "Roswell" about three days later. I couldn’t drive, so one of my roommates actually drove me out to Santa Fe — my roommate Roarke Anderson who I have lived with since college, we played baseball together at Chapman. And then I get out to the shoot and everybody is so worried about me because of my knee surgery. I’m limping and it’s hard for me to be standing on set or doing any physical contact and everybody is babying me so hard! I’m really bad at taking help. The "Roswell" cast and crew were so supportive, so helpful — they got me my own custom chair that I could sit in so my knee would heal quicker. 

They were doing all of these things, going out of their way, and I don’t know if it’s a thing that I have — pride or ego or my stubbornness — but taking help from people, even when I need it, is tough for me. I was taking all of this help and then three weeks into shooting, the doctor said, “You can drive, but you don’t want to be hitting the break too hard; take care of your knee.” And on my way to set one morning, a priest turned right in front of me at a green light and I smoked this guy in my car; I totaled my car. He got knocked unconscious, but luckily he was okay, everything worked out — he was healthy, he got taken away from the scene but was able to walk away from the hospital and was doing fine. Right at that time, I was really just feeling the death of my friend, the knee surgery, the car accident — meanwhile, Max, my brother in the show, played by Nathan Parsons of course, is dead in the series. 

CARIANN BRADLEY: What did your day to day look like filming the second season of "Roswell, New Mexico?" I know in our first chat together several months ago, you told me you tapped into your friend passing away this time last year. Can you explain to me your process?

MICHAEL VLAMIS: Season two of "Roswell" — it was crazy because so many things happened to me personally going into the season. A buddy of mine passed away; I recovered his body in the middle of an ocean after a freak boating accident . Friends and I were out in Panama, Central America, for a bachelor party and it went from the greatest time ever to one of the most wild experiences of my life. The kid that we lost was one of my childhood best friends. 

That happened in May. Shortly after that, I tore my meniscus in my right knee, which is the third time I’ve done that, so I underwent surgery at the end of July. Once that surgery happened, I had to report to the set of "Roswell" about three days later. I couldn’t drive, so one of my roommates actually drove me out to Santa Fe — my roommate Roarke Anderson who I have lived with since college, we played baseball together at Chapman. And then I get out to the shoot and everybody is so worried about me because of my knee surgery. I’m limping and it’s hard for me to be standing on set or doing any physical contact and everybody is babying me so hard! I’m really bad at taking help. The "Roswell" cast and crew were so supportive, so helpful — they got me my own custom chair that I could sit in so my knee would heal quicker. 

They were doing all of these things, going out of their way, and I don’t know if it’s a thing that I have — pride or ego or my stubbornness — but taking help from people, even when I need it, is tough for me. I was taking all of this help and then three weeks into shooting, the doctor said, “You can drive, but you don’t want to be hitting the break too hard; take care of your knee.” And on my way to set one morning, a priest turned right in front of me at a green light and I smoked this guy in my car; I totaled my car. He got knocked unconscious, but luckily he was okay, everything worked out — he was healthy, he got taken away from the scene but was able to walk away from the hospital and was doing fine. Right at that time, I was really just feeling the death of my friend, the knee surgery, the car accident — meanwhile, Max, my brother in the show, played by Nathan Parsons of course, is dead in the series. 

CARIANN BRADLEY: What did your day to day look like filming the second season of "Roswell, New Mexico?" I know in our first chat together several months ago, you told me you tapped into your friend passing away this time last year. Can you explain to me your process?

MICHAEL VLAMIS: Season two of "Roswell" — it was crazy because so many things happened to me personally going into the season. A buddy of mine passed away; I recovered his body in the middle of an ocean after a freak boating accident . Friends and I were out in Panama, Central America, for a bachelor party and it went from the greatest time ever to one of the most wild experiences of my life. The kid that we lost was one of my childhood best friends. 

That happened in May. Shortly after that, I tore my meniscus in my right knee, which is the third time I’ve done that, so I underwent surgery at the end of July. Once that surgery happened, I had to report to the set of "Roswell" about three days later. I couldn’t drive, so one of my roommates actually drove me out to Santa Fe — my roommate Roarke Anderson who I have lived with since college, we played baseball together at Chapman. And then I get out to the shoot and everybody is so worried about me because of my knee surgery. I’m limping and it’s hard for me to be standing on set or doing any physical contact and everybody is babying me so hard! I’m really bad at taking help. The "Roswell" cast and crew were so supportive, so helpful — they got me my own custom chair that I could sit in so my knee would heal quicker. 

They were doing all of these things, going out of their way, and I don’t know if it’s a thing that I have — pride or ego or my stubbornness — but taking help from people, even when I need it, is tough for me. I was taking all of this help and then three weeks into shooting, the doctor said, “You can drive, but you don’t want to be hitting the break too hard; take care of your knee.” And on my way to set one morning, a priest turned right in front of me at a green light and I smoked this guy in my car; I totaled my car. He got knocked unconscious, but luckily he was okay, everything worked out — he was healthy, he got taken away from the scene but was able to walk away from the hospital and was doing fine. Right at that time, I was really just feeling the death of my friend, the knee surgery, the car accident — meanwhile, Max, my brother in the show, played by Nathan Parsons of course, is dead in the series. 

CARIANN BRADLEY: What did your day to day look like filming the second season of "Roswell, New Mexico?" I know in our first chat together several months ago, you told me you tapped into your friend passing away this time last year. Can you explain to me your process?

MICHAEL VLAMIS: Season two of "Roswell" — it was crazy because so many things happened to me personally going into the season. A buddy of mine passed away; I recovered his body in the middle of an ocean after a freak boating accident. Friends and I were out in Panama, Central America, for a bachelor party and it went from the greatest time ever to one of the most wild experiences of my life. The kid that we lost was one of my childhood best friends. 

That happened in May. Shortly after that, I tore my meniscus in my right knee, which is the third time I’ve done that, so I underwent surgery at the end of July. Once that surgery happened, I had to report to the set of "Roswell" about three days later. I couldn’t drive, so one of my roommates actually drove me out to Santa Fe — my roommate Roarke Anderson who I have lived with since college, we played baseball together at Chapman. And then I get out to the shoot and everybody is so worried about me because of my knee surgery. I’m limping and it’s hard for me to be standing on set or doing any physical contact and everybody is babying me so hard! I’m really bad at taking help. The "Roswell" cast and crew were so supportive, so helpful — they got me my own custom chair that I could sit in so my knee would heal quicker. 

They were doing all of these things, going out of their way, and I don’t know if it’s a thing that I have — pride or ego or my stubbornness — but taking help from people, even when I need it, is tough for me. I was taking all of this help and then three weeks into shooting, the doctor said, “You can drive, but you don’t want to be hitting the break too hard; take care of your knee.” And on my way to set one morning, a priest turned right in front of me at a green light and I smoked this guy in my car; I totaled my car. He got knocked unconscious, but luckily he was okay, everything worked out — he was healthy, he got taken away from the scene but was able to walk away from the hospital and was doing fine. Right at that time, I was really just feeling the death of my friend, the knee surgery, the car accident — meanwhile, Max, my brother in the show, played by Nathan Parsons of course, is dead in the series. 

So, while all of this is going on, I keep channeling my buddy and that horrific incident because it felt like if anything was gonna come out of that — he was a big supporter of my career, always telling people I was acting — I felt like I could do justice to my friend’s death, I could make a positive out of such a negative, and that’s what I did. I really tried to channel him and look to him between scenes and bring that for the loss of my brother in the show. 

And, to be honest, I felt like I went too deep into that and it really caught up to me. A month and a half into shooting I just snapped one day. I remember the hair stylist on set all of the sudden told me that The CW thought the right side of my hair wasn’t as curly as it normally is, so they started curling my curls on set and, it’s so funny that that ended up being the last straw. Curling my curls made me feel like a helpless individual who just needed to be so pampered and taken care of and watched after and looked upon — and I didn’t feel like my own person. I ended up saying a dick comment to our hair stylist, who I love and really respect and appreciate, but in that moment I snapped and I got all teary-eyed and she was like, “Dude, what’s going on?” And I gave her a big hug and I’m like, “I’m sorry, this isn’t about you at all,” and I went to my trailer and I wrote a poem and I kind of got out everything I was feeling. From that moment on, which was about six weeks into shooting, I felt better. I had a little bit of a relief. And then, luckily, Max comes back to life halfway through season two and my big episode, episode five, when I channeled my buddy the most was a very tough experience. But once that was over I was able to let the passing of my friend go for a while and everything normalized, but that was everything just on set! You just get so focused on doing your best work that you kind of drive yourself insane. 

C: Even just from talking to you the first time we chatted for l’Odet, you just seem like the most productive person ever. How do you take care of yourself? Especially when you’re exerting that much of yourself creatively. Do you do therapy or do you just depend on your support system?

M: I think that changes. At one point in my life it was meditation. I actually meditated for the first time this morning since February because I’ve been feeling so strange lately in the pandemic, right? It’s been ups and downs and I was feeling like I needed a little bit more calmness in my life. I know that I’m a person that really likes control and I like things the way they are and me having a grasp on things — it’s little things. I have a driveway that we park all five of the cars of the house and the cars are parked just back to back to back, so if you’re the first one in, you have to go to your roommates and say, “Hey guys, I have to do a car shuffle, I have to leave,” and it can be an inconvenience for people to go move their cars for you to get out. When I’m meditating and my mind is very relaxed, that doesn't bother me, but I’ve been noticing lately that I don’t want to park in the driveway because I’m gonna get stuck, but at a time like this? When I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t have to be anywhere, why am I thinking about being stuck? What is going on right there? Why do I need this control again? This feeling of absolute freedom whenever I want when I can achieve that freedom mentally with my car being in the driveway. Little things like that make me realize that I need to get back to centering myself, so I’m going to start meditating again every day, because you asked what I do for my mental health — to be completely honest, I don’t really take care of myself that much! 

I’m just kind of a go, go, go person and I like pushing myself. I look at life like a big video game; the more levels I can beat, the more fun it is, but eventually, you get tired of the game and you have to step back so I’m going to try to be putting meditation back into my life. Aside from that, I’ve been reading way more during the pandemic. I’ve read three books, "The Little Prince" is one of them; it’s a children’s book, but you can call it that! I read a book! I’ve read like three books which is more than I’ve read all through "Roswell" because I was just so occupied with writing, so that’s been helping me take a step back and unwind. Aside from that, I need pointers! I need to figure out what taking care of myself actually looks like, because it is peaks and valleys when it comes to my mental health.

So, while all of this is going on, I keep channeling my buddy and that horrific incident because it felt like if anything was gonna come out of that — he was a big supporter of my career, always telling people I was acting — I felt like I could do justice to my friend’s death, I could make a positive out of such a negative, and that’s what I did. I really tried to channel him and look to him between scenes and bring that for the loss of my brother in the show. 

And, to be honest, I felt like I went too deep into that and it really caught up to me. A month and a half into shooting I just snapped one day. I remember the hair stylist on set all of the sudden told me that The CW thought the right side of my hair wasn’t as curly as it normally is, so they started curling my curls on set and, it’s so funny that that ended up being the last straw. Curling my curls made me feel like a helpless individual who just needed to be so pampered and taken care of and watched after and looked upon — and I didn’t feel like my own person. I ended up saying a dick comment to our hair stylist, who I love and really respect and appreciate, but in that moment I snapped and I got all teary-eyed and she was like, “Dude, what’s going on?” And I gave her a big hug and I’m like, “I’m sorry, this isn’t about you at all,” and I went to my trailer and I wrote a poem and I kind of got out everything I was feeling. From that moment on, which was about six weeks into shooting, I felt better. I had a little bit of a relief. And then, luckily, Max comes back to life halfway through season two and my big episode, episode five, when I channeled my buddy the most was a very tough experience. But once that was over I was able to let the passing of my friend go for a while and everything normalized, but that was everything just on set! You just get so focused on doing your best work that you kind of drive yourself insane. 

C: Even just from talking to you the first time we chatted for l’Odet, you just seem like the most productive person ever. How do you take care of yourself? Especially when you’re exerting that much of yourself creatively. Do you do therapy or do you just depend on your support system?

M: I think that changes. At one point in my life it was meditation. I actually meditated for the first time this morning since February because I’ve been feeling so strange lately in the pandemic, right? It’s been ups and downs and I was feeling like I needed a little bit more calmness in my life. I know that I’m a person that really likes control and I like things the way they are and me having a grasp on things — it’s little things. I have a driveway that we park all five of the cars of the house and the cars are parked just back to back to back, so if you’re the first one in, you have to go to your roommates and say, “Hey guys, I have to do a car shuffle, I have to leave,” and it can be an inconvenience for people to go move their cars for you to get out. When I’m meditating and my mind is very relaxed, that doesn't bother me, but I’ve been noticing lately that I don’t want to park in the driveway because I’m gonna get stuck, but at a time like this? When I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t have to be anywhere, why am I thinking about being stuck? What is going on right there? Why do I need this control again? This feeling of absolute freedom whenever I want when I can achieve that freedom mentally with my car being in the driveway. Little things like that make me realize that I need to get back to centering myself, so I’m going to start meditating again every day, because you asked what I do for my mental health — to be completely honest, I don’t really take care of myself that much! 

I’m just kind of a go, go, go person and I like pushing myself. I look at life like a big video game; the more levels I can beat, the more fun it is, but eventually, you get tired of the game and you have to step back so I’m going to try to be putting meditation back into my life. Aside from that, I’ve been reading way more during the pandemic. I’ve read three books, "The Little Prince" is one of them; it’s a children’s book, but you can call it that! I read a book! I’ve read like three books which is more than I’ve read all through "Roswell" because I was just so occupied with writing, so that’s been helping me take a step back and unwind. Aside from that, I need pointers! I need to figure out what taking care of myself actually looks like, because it is peaks and valleys when it comes to my mental health.

So, while all of this is going on, I keep channeling my buddy and that horrific incident because it felt like if anything was gonna come out of that — he was a big supporter of my career, always telling people I was acting — I felt like I could do justice to my friend’s death, I could make a positive out of such a negative, and that’s what I did. I really tried to channel him and look to him between scenes and bring that for the loss of my brother in the show. 

And, to be honest, I felt like I went too deep into that and it really caught up to me. A month and a half into shooting I just snapped one day. I remember the hair stylist on set all of the sudden told me that The CW thought the right side of my hair wasn’t as curly as it normally is, so they started curling my curls on set and, it’s so funny that that ended up being the last straw. Curling my curls made me feel like a helpless individual who just needed to be so pampered and taken care of and watched after and looked upon — and I didn’t feel like my own person. I ended up saying a dick comment to our hair stylist, who I love and really respect and appreciate, but in that moment I snapped and I got all teary-eyed and she was like, “Dude, what’s going on?” And I gave her a big hug and I’m like, “I’m sorry, this isn’t about you at all,” and I went to my trailer and I wrote a poem and I kind of got out everything I was feeling. From that moment on, which was about six weeks into shooting, I felt better. I had a little bit of a relief. And then, luckily, Max comes back to life halfway through season two and my big episode, episode five, when I channeled my buddy the most was a very tough experience. But once that was over I was able to let the passing of my friend go for a while and everything normalized, but that was everything just on set! You just get so focused on doing your best work that you kind of drive yourself insane. 

C: Even just from talking to you the first time we chatted for l’Odet, you just seem like the most productive person ever. How do you take care of yourself? Especially when you’re exerting that much of yourself creatively. Do you do therapy or do you just depend on your support system?

M: I think that changes. At one point in my life it was meditation. I actually meditated for the first time this morning since February because I’ve been feeling so strange lately in the pandemic, right? It’s been ups and downs and I was feeling like I needed a little bit more calmness in my life. I know that I’m a person that really likes control and I like things the way they are and me having a grasp on things — it’s little things. I have a driveway that we park all five of the cars of the house and the cars are parked just back to back to back, so if you’re the first one in, you have to go to your roommates and say, “Hey guys, I have to do a car shuffle, I have to leave,” and it can be an inconvenience for people to go move their cars for you to get out. When I’m meditating and my mind is very relaxed, that doesn't bother me, but I’ve been noticing lately that I don’t want to park in the driveway because I’m gonna get stuck, but at a time like this? When I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t have to be anywhere, why am I thinking about being stuck? What is going on right there? Why do I need this control again? This feeling of absolute freedom whenever I want when I can achieve that freedom mentally with my car being in the driveway. Little things like that make me realize that I need to get back to centering myself, so I’m going to start meditating again every day, because you asked what I do for my mental health — to be completely honest, I don’t really take care of myself that much! 

I’m just kind of a go, go, go person and I like pushing myself. I look at life like a big video game; the more levels I can beat, the more fun it is, but eventually, you get tired of the game and you have to step back so I’m going to try to be putting meditation back into my life. Aside from that, I’ve been reading way more during the pandemic. I’ve read three books, "The Little Prince" is one of them; it’s a children’s book, but you can call it that! I read a book! I’ve read like three books which is more than I’ve read all through "Roswell" because I was just so occupied with writing, so that’s been helping me take a step back and unwind. Aside from that, I need pointers! I need to figure out what taking care of myself actually looks like, because it is peaks and valleys when it comes to my mental health.

So, while all of this is going on, I keep channeling my buddy and that horrific incident because it felt like if anything was gonna come out of that — he was a big supporter of my career, always telling people I was acting — I felt like I could do justice to my friend’s death, I could make a positive out of such a negative, and that’s what I did. I really tried to channel him and look to him between scenes and bring that for the loss of my brother in the show. 

And, to be honest, I felt like I went too deep into that and it really caught up to me. A month and a half into shooting I just snapped one day. I remember the hair stylist on set all of the sudden told me that The CW thought the right side of my hair wasn’t as curly as it normally is, so they started curling my curls on set and, it’s so funny that that ended up being the last straw. Curling my curls made me feel like a helpless individual who just needed to be so pampered and taken care of and watched after and looked upon — and I didn’t feel like my own person. I ended up saying a dick comment to our hair stylist, who I love and really respect and appreciate, but in that moment I snapped and I got all teary-eyed and she was like, “Dude, what’s going on?” And I gave her a big hug and I’m like, “I’m sorry, this isn’t about you at all,” and I went to my trailer and I wrote a poem and I kind of got out everything I was feeling. From that moment on, which was about six weeks into shooting, I felt better. I had a little bit of a relief. And then, luckily, Max comes back to life halfway through season two and my big episode, episode five, when I channeled my buddy the most was a very tough experience. But once that was over I was able to let the passing of my friend go for a while and everything normalized, but that was everything just on set! You just get so focused on doing your best work that you kind of drive yourself insane. 

C: Even just from talking to you the first time we chatted for l’Odet, you just seem like the most productive person ever. How do you take care of yourself? Especially when you’re exerting that much of yourself creatively. Do you do therapy or do you just depend on your support system?

M: I think that changes. At one point in my life it was meditation. I actually meditated for the first time this morning since February because I’ve been feeling so strange lately in the pandemic, right? It’s been ups and downs and I was feeling like I needed a little bit more calmness in my life. I know that I’m a person that really likes control and I like things the way they are and me having a grasp on things — it’s little things. I have a driveway that we park all five of the cars of the house and the cars are parked just back to back to back, so if you’re the first one in, you have to go to your roommates and say, “Hey guys, I have to do a car shuffle, I have to leave,” and it can be an inconvenience for people to go move their cars for you to get out. When I’m meditating and my mind is very relaxed, that doesn't bother me, but I’ve been noticing lately that I don’t want to park in the driveway because I’m gonna get stuck, but at a time like this? When I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t have to be anywhere, why am I thinking about being stuck? What is going on right there? Why do I need this control again? This feeling of absolute freedom whenever I want when I can achieve that freedom mentally with my car being in the driveway. Little things like that make me realize that I need to get back to centering myself, so I’m going to start meditating again every day, because you asked what I do for my mental health — to be completely honest, I don’t really take care of myself that much! 

I’m just kind of a go, go, go person and I like pushing myself. I look at life like a big video game; the more levels I can beat, the more fun it is, but eventually, you get tired of the game and you have to step back so I’m going to try to be putting meditation back into my life. Aside from that, I’ve been reading way more during the pandemic. I’ve read three books, "The Little Prince" is one of them; it’s a children’s book, but you can call it that! I read a book! I’ve read like three books which is more than I’ve read all through "Roswell" because I was just so occupied with writing, so that’s been helping me take a step back and unwind. Aside from that, I need pointers! I need to figure out what taking care of myself actually looks like, because it is peaks and valleys when it comes to my mental health.

I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it!

I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it!

I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it!

I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it!

C: It seems like you're always working, even when you're not shooting. You're a bit addicted to work, maybe?

M: I think so. I think I’m addicted to accomplishing things that I don’t even think I should be able to accomplish. The people that fascinate me are the Donald Glovers of the world. The guys, and women, who you hear they did something and you’re like, “How?!” How did they make a hit album, a hit TV show, act in all these movies, write for a TV show — all these things that just don’t seem feasible, but he accomplished them! I want that. I like that. I like being the person who is always pushing to just be outside of their comfort zones and accomplish something that was a dream at one point in your life that could turn into reality. I’m really fascinated by that whole process or turning dreams into reality. 

C: I think people our age can get really discouraged if one thing doesn’t work out and for a person to be able to keep going, for it to only motivate them more — I think that’s probably a superpower. 

M: Superpower or just a big ego! It’s one of the two. Ego is something that I’ve thought about heavily. I’ve blown relationships in the past because of ego, I think my acting work five years ago wasn’t good because of ego. Then you get stripped down, you get beaten down by life, and you get a little more comfortable with the uncomfortable and I think that’s where the best work comes from. For me, yeah, I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it! And sometimes that might mean buying the cheat code book or asking a friend how to beat this level or whatever it is, but those little things to figure out how to get past what you’re stuck with — I love those moments. I love getting through something that doesn’t seem like something I can accomplish. 

C: Yeah, and something I wrote down, actually, was that from watching "Roswell" season two, I feel like your character is very jaded and he almost needs stuff proven to him to believe that good things can happen. Which makes sense because of all the shit he’s been through and all the trauma that he’s experienced in his life, but were you ever like that personally? Even after this really traumatic experience happened with your friend, are you more jaded because of all these things that have happened in the last year?

C: It seems like you're always working, even when you're not shooting. You're a bit addicted to work, maybe?

M: I think so. I think I’m addicted to accomplishing things that I don’t even think I should be able to accomplish. The people that fascinate me are the Donald Glovers of the world. The guys, and women, who you hear they did something and you’re like, “How?!” How did they make a hit album, a hit TV show, act in all these movies, write for a TV show — all these things that just don’t seem feasible, but he accomplished them! I want that. I like that. I like being the person who is always pushing to just be outside of their comfort zones and accomplish something that was a dream at one point in your life that could turn into reality. I’m really fascinated by that whole process or turning dreams into reality. 

C: I think people our age can get really discouraged if one thing doesn’t work out and for a person to be able to keep going, for it to only motivate them more — I think that’s probably a superpower. 

M: Superpower or just a big ego! It’s one of the two. Ego is something that I’ve thought about heavily. I’ve blown relationships in the past because of ego, I think my acting work five years ago wasn’t good because of ego. Then you get stripped down, you get beaten down by life, and you get a little more comfortable with the uncomfortable and I think that’s where the best work comes from. For me, yeah, I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it! And sometimes that might mean buying the cheat code book or asking a friend how to beat this level or whatever it is, but those little things to figure out how to get past what you’re stuck with — I love those moments. I love getting through something that doesn’t seem like something I can accomplish. 

C: Yeah, and something I wrote down, actually, was that from watching "Roswell" season two, I feel like your character is very jaded and he almost needs stuff proven to him to believe that good things can happen. Which makes sense because of all the shit he’s been through and all the trauma that he’s experienced in his life, but were you ever like that personally? Even after this really traumatic experience happened with your friend, are you more jaded because of all these things that have happened in the last year?

C: It seems like you're always working, even when you're not shooting. You're a bit addicted to work, maybe?

M: I think so. I think I’m addicted to accomplishing things that I don’t even think I should be able to accomplish. The people that fascinate me are the Donald Glovers of the world. The guys, and women, who you hear they did something and you’re like, “How?!” How did they make a hit album, a hit TV show, act in all these movies, write for a TV show — all these things that just don’t seem feasible, but he accomplished them! I want that. I like that. I like being the person who is always pushing to just be outside of their comfort zones and accomplish something that was a dream at one point in your life that could turn into reality. I’m really fascinated by that whole process or turning dreams into reality. 

C: I think people our age can get really discouraged if one thing doesn’t work out and for a person to be able to keep going, for it to only motivate them more — I think that’s probably a superpower. 

M: Superpower or just a big ego! It’s one of the two. Ego is something that I’ve thought about heavily. I’ve blown relationships in the past because of ego, I think my acting work five years ago wasn’t good because of ego. Then you get stripped down, you get beaten down by life, and you get a little more comfortable with the uncomfortable and I think that’s where the best work comes from. For me, yeah, I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it! And sometimes that might mean buying the cheat code book or asking a friend how to beat this level or whatever it is, but those little things to figure out how to get past what you’re stuck with — I love those moments. I love getting through something that doesn’t seem like something I can accomplish. 

C: Yeah, and something I wrote down, actually, was that from watching "Roswell" season two, I feel like your character is very jaded and he almost needs stuff proven to him to believe that good things can happen. Which makes sense because of all the shit he’s been through and all the trauma that he’s experienced in his life, but were you ever like that personally? Even after this really traumatic experience happened with your friend, are you more jaded because of all these things that have happened in the last year?

C: It seems like you're always working, even when you're not shooting. You're a bit addicted to work, maybe?

M: I think so. I think I’m addicted to accomplishing things that I don’t even think I should be able to accomplish. The people that fascinate me are the Donald Glovers of the world. The guys, and women, who you hear they did something and you’re like, “How?!” How did they make a hit album, a hit TV show, act in all these movies, write for a TV show — all these things that just don’t seem feasible, but he accomplished them! I want that. I like that. I like being the person who is always pushing to just be outside of their comfort zones and accomplish something that was a dream at one point in your life that could turn into reality. I’m really fascinated by that whole process or turning dreams into reality. 

C: I think people our age can get really discouraged if one thing doesn’t work out and for a person to be able to keep going, for it to only motivate them more — I think that’s probably a superpower. 

M: Superpower or just a big ego! It’s one of the two. Ego is something that I’ve thought about heavily. I’ve blown relationships in the past because of ego, I think my acting work five years ago wasn’t good because of ego. Then you get stripped down, you get beaten down by life, and you get a little more comfortable with the uncomfortable and I think that’s where the best work comes from. For me, yeah, I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it! And sometimes that might mean buying the cheat code book or asking a friend how to beat this level or whatever it is, but those little things to figure out how to get past what you’re stuck with — I love those moments. I love getting through something that doesn’t seem like something I can accomplish. 

C: Yeah, and something I wrote down, actually, was that from watching "Roswell" season two, I feel like your character is very jaded and he almost needs stuff proven to him to believe that good things can happen. Which makes sense because of all the shit he’s been through and all the trauma that he’s experienced in his life, but were you ever like that personally? Even after this really traumatic experience happened with your friend, are you more jaded because of all these things that have happened in the last year?

C: It seems like you're always working, even when you're not shooting. You're a bit addicted to work, maybe?

M: I think so. I think I’m addicted to accomplishing things that I don’t even think I should be able to accomplish. The people that fascinate me are the Donald Glovers of the world. The guys, and women, who you hear they did something and you’re like, “How?!” How did they make a hit album, a hit TV show, act in all these movies, write for a TV show — all these things that just don’t seem feasible, but he accomplished them! I want that. I like that. I like being the person who is always pushing to just be outside of their comfort zones and accomplish something that was a dream at one point in your life that could turn into reality. I’m really fascinated by that whole process or turning dreams into reality. 

C: I think people our age can get really discouraged if one thing doesn’t work out and for a person to be able to keep going, for it to only motivate them more — I think that’s probably a superpower. 

M: Superpower or just a big ego! It’s one of the two. Ego is something that I’ve thought about heavily. I’ve blown relationships in the past because of ego, I think my acting work five years ago wasn’t good because of ego. Then you get stripped down, you get beaten down by life, and you get a little more comfortable with the uncomfortable and I think that’s where the best work comes from. For me, yeah, I think I just really like pushing myself. I do see life like this video game, so if one door closes, you don’t put the game down, you don’t all of a sudden stop playing, no, you keep playing in order to beat it! And sometimes that might mean buying the cheat code book or asking a friend how to beat this level or whatever it is, but those little things to figure out how to get past what you’re stuck with — I love those moments. I love getting through something that doesn’t seem like something I can accomplish. 

C: Yeah, and something I wrote down, actually, was that from watching "Roswell" season two, I feel like your character is very jaded and he almost needs stuff proven to him to believe that good things can happen. Which makes sense because of all the shit he’s been through and all the trauma that he’s experienced in his life, but were you ever like that personally? Even after this really traumatic experience happened with your friend, are you more jaded because of all these things that have happened in the last year?

Vlamis-Reflections-web-1
Vlamis-Reflections-web-4
Vlamis-Reflections-web-2

M: You know what? No, I’m not. Maybe I should be but, no. I have a tough time living life without leaving my heart on my sleeve and being vulnerable. I think the beauty is in vulnerability, and I admit that I’m not always good at that. I’m actually realizing I’m really bad at that when it comes to relationships with a woman that I may love. It can be very hard for me to say exactly what I want or what I’m feeling. I don’t know why that is exactly, but when it comes to anything else in life, I can say anything I want, anything I’m feeling — I could spill my guts to the cashier at a gas station and I can be okay with that and who I am. So, no, not jaded. The experience that I had with my friend passing, that has just made me more aware, right? Just knowing that accidents like that, freak accidents, like what happened to him on a boat in the middle of Central America at a time where you didn’t think you had a care in the world — that can be flipped on its head in a second. So, just kind of knowing that and that might mean me looking across the street, left and right an extra time, but just kind of learning from every experience but still moving ahead as if I’m just this kid in this world for the first time, soaking everything in. And if I get hurt, that’s just a part of the process. Me being a masochist for my art, because the more I get hurt in real life, the better my art is. It’s kind of a weird balance. If I wasn’t an actor, maybe I wouldn’t feel that way, but I’ve always been this way even before I started acting in my senior year of college. So, that’s tough. I don’t think I’ve been like Michael Guerin, though, where I’m just reaching for answers all the time. I, in the past, prove to myself that I’m a good person or I’m wanted or that I actually can find success in the things I love. It’s just put the hard hat on and go to work and keep plugging away. 

C: Interesting. I think that you have really done a good job of truly just drawing on those experiences then, because you really portray that through Guerin really well. I mean, he’s just so different than you which, I mean, is how acting is supposed to be, I guess, right? [Laughs] I guess I don’t know too much about acting.

M: No, definitely! And maybe we even talked about this in the last interview, but I was always so surprised that Carina MacKenzie, our showrunner, said that, as an actor, I am the most different in real life than I am as my character. It kind of blew my mind! I feel like I am Michael Guerin! I feel like everything Michael Guerin does is exactly how Michael Vlamis would react in a situation, but the difference is, when it comes to acting, the truth I’m bringing is under the circumstances of Michael Guerin. So, what he’s going through is exactly how I would react in those situations, but I’m just not in those situations because that’s not how I think or operate in my life! But if I was to do that, then that is what you would get. So, it doesn’t feel that far off for me because I have all those things in me, that is who I am, a lot of those feelings of anger or jealousy or the feeling of not being loved or proving yourself, being wanted. I have all that stuff, it’s just not coming out on a daily basis because, in life, I like to keep things light for the most part — I like to make jokes all the time, but, deep down, I’m a very serious person who's had to work on anger issues in the past and had to really find balance in how I react to certain situations. The beautiful thing about Guerin is that I can just be the worst parts of me. I can put that on screen because that’s interesting to watch, you know?

M: You know what? No, I’m not. Maybe I should be but, no. I have a tough time living life without leaving my heart on my sleeve and being vulnerable. I think the beauty is in vulnerability, and I admit that I’m not always good at that. I’m actually realizing I’m really bad at that when it comes to relationships with a woman that I may love. It can be very hard for me to say exactly what I want or what I’m feeling. I don’t know why that is exactly, but when it comes to anything else in life, I can say anything I want, anything I’m feeling — I could spill my guts to the cashier at a gas station and I can be okay with that and who I am. So, no, not jaded. The experience that I had with my friend passing, that has just made me more aware, right? Just knowing that accidents like that, freak accidents, like what happened to him on a boat in the middle of Central America at a time where you didn’t think you had a care in the world — that can be flipped on its head in a second. So, just kind of knowing that and that might mean me looking across the street, left and right an extra time, but just kind of learning from every experience but still moving ahead as if I’m just this kid in this world for the first time, soaking everything in. And if I get hurt, that’s just a part of the process. Me being a masochist for my art, because the more I get hurt in real life, the better my art is. It’s kind of a weird balance. If I wasn’t an actor, maybe I wouldn’t feel that way, but I’ve always been this way even before I started acting in my senior year of college. So, that’s tough. I don’t think I’ve been like Michael Guerin, though, where I’m just reaching for answers all the time. I, in the past, prove to myself that I’m a good person or I’m wanted or that I actually can find success in the things I love. It’s just put the hard hat on and go to work and keep plugging away. 

C: Interesting. I think that you have really done a good job of truly just drawing on those experiences then, because you really portray that through Guerin really well. I mean, he’s just so different than you which, I mean, is how acting is supposed to be, I guess, right? [Laughs] I guess I don’t know too much about acting.

M: No, definitely! And maybe we even talked about this in the last interview, but I was always so surprised that Carina MacKenzie, our showrunner, said that, as an actor, I am the most different in real life than I am as my character. It kind of blew my mind! I feel like I am Michael Guerin! I feel like everything Michael Guerin does is exactly how Michael Vlamis would react in a situation, but the difference is, when it comes to acting, the truth I’m bringing is under the circumstances of Michael Guerin. So, what he’s going through is exactly how I would react in those situations, but I’m just not in those situations because that’s not how I think or operate in my life! But if I was to do that, then that is what you would get. So, it doesn’t feel that far off for me because I have all those things in me, that is who I am, a lot of those feelings of anger or jealousy or the feeling of not being loved or proving yourself, being wanted. I have all that stuff, it’s just not coming out on a daily basis because, in life, I like to keep things light for the most part — I like to make jokes all the time, but, deep down, I’m a very serious person who's had to work on anger issues in the past and had to really find balance in how I react to certain situations. The beautiful thing about Guerin is that I can just be the worst parts of me. I can put that on screen because that’s interesting to watch, you know?

M: You know what? No, I’m not. Maybe I should be but, no. I have a tough time living life without leaving my heart on my sleeve and being vulnerable. I think the beauty is in vulnerability, and I admit that I’m not always good at that. I’m actually realizing I’m really bad at that when it comes to relationships with a woman that I may love. It can be very hard for me to say exactly what I want or what I’m feeling. I don’t know why that is exactly, but when it comes to anything else in life, I can say anything I want, anything I’m feeling — I could spill my guts to the cashier at a gas station and I can be okay with that and who I am. So, no, not jaded. The experience that I had with my friend passing, that has just made me more aware, right? Just knowing that accidents like that, freak accidents, like what happened to him on a boat in the middle of Central America at a time where you didn’t think you had a care in the world — that can be flipped on its head in a second. So, just kind of knowing that and that might mean me looking across the street, left and right an extra time, but just kind of learning from every experience but still moving ahead as if I’m just this kid in this world for the first time, soaking everything in. And if I get hurt, that’s just a part of the process. Me being a masochist for my art, because the more I get hurt in real life, the better my art is. It’s kind of a weird balance. If I wasn’t an actor, maybe I wouldn’t feel that way, but I’ve always been this way even before I started acting in my senior year of college. So, that’s tough. I don’t think I’ve been like Michael Guerin, though, where I’m just reaching for answers all the time. I, in the past, prove to myself that I’m a good person or I’m wanted or that I actually can find success in the things I love. It’s just put the hard hat on and go to work and keep plugging away. 

C: Interesting. I think that you have really done a good job of truly just drawing on those experiences then, because you really portray that through Guerin really well. I mean, he’s just so different than you which, I mean, is how acting is supposed to be, I guess, right? [Laughs] I guess I don’t know too much about acting.

M: No, definitely! And maybe we even talked about this in the last interview, but I was always so surprised that Carina MacKenzie, our showrunner, said that, as an actor, I am the most different in real life than I am as my character. It kind of blew my mind! I feel like I am Michael Guerin! I feel like everything Michael Guerin does is exactly how Michael Vlamis would react in a situation, but the difference is, when it comes to acting, the truth I’m bringing is under the circumstances of Michael Guerin. So, what he’s going through is exactly how I would react in those situations, but I’m just not in those situations because that’s not how I think or operate in my life! But if I was to do that, then that is what you would get. So, it doesn’t feel that far off for me because I have all those things in me, that is who I am, a lot of those feelings of anger or jealousy or the feeling of not being loved or proving yourself, being wanted. I have all that stuff, it’s just not coming out on a daily basis because, in life, I like to keep things light for the most part — I like to make jokes all the time, but, deep down, I’m a very serious person who's had to work on anger issues in the past and had to really find balance in how I react to certain situations. The beautiful thing about Guerin is that I can just be the worst parts of me. I can put that on screen because that’s interesting to watch, you know?

M: You know what? No, I’m not. Maybe I should be but, no. I have a tough time living life without leaving my heart on my sleeve and being vulnerable. I think the beauty is in vulnerability, and I admit that I’m not always good at that. I’m actually realizing I’m really bad at that when it comes to relationships with a woman that I may love. It can be very hard for me to say exactly what I want or what I’m feeling. I don’t know why that is exactly, but when it comes to anything else in life, I can say anything I want, anything I’m feeling — I could spill my guts to the cashier at a gas station and I can be okay with that and who I am. So, no, not jaded. The experience that I had with my friend passing, that has just made me more aware, right? Just knowing that accidents like that, freak accidents, like what happened to him on a boat in the middle of Central America at a time where you didn’t think you had a care in the world — that can be flipped on its head in a second. So, just kind of knowing that and that might mean me looking across the street, left and right an extra time, but just kind of learning from every experience but still moving ahead as if I’m just this kid in this world for the first time, soaking everything in. And if I get hurt, that’s just a part of the process. Me being a masochist for my art, because the more I get hurt in real life, the better my art is. It’s kind of a weird balance. If I wasn’t an actor, maybe I wouldn’t feel that way, but I’ve always been this way even before I started acting in my senior year of college. So, that’s tough. I don’t think I’ve been like Michael Guerin, though, where I’m just reaching for answers all the time. I, in the past, prove to myself that I’m a good person or I’m wanted or that I actually can find success in the things I love. It’s just put the hard hat on and go to work and keep plugging away. 

C: Interesting. I think that you have really done a good job of truly just drawing on those experiences then, because you really portray that through Guerin really well. I mean, he’s just so different than you which, I mean, is how acting is supposed to be, I guess, right? [Laughs] I guess I don’t know too much about acting.

M: No, definitely! And maybe we even talked about this in the last interview, but I was always so surprised that Carina MacKenzie, our showrunner, said that, as an actor, I am the most different in real life than I am as my character. It kind of blew my mind! I feel like I am Michael Guerin! I feel like everything Michael Guerin does is exactly how Michael Vlamis would react in a situation, but the difference is, when it comes to acting, the truth I’m bringing is under the circumstances of Michael Guerin. So, what he’s going through is exactly how I would react in those situations, but I’m just not in those situations because that’s not how I think or operate in my life! But if I was to do that, then that is what you would get. So, it doesn’t feel that far off for me because I have all those things in me, that is who I am, a lot of those feelings of anger or jealousy or the feeling of not being loved or proving yourself, being wanted. I have all that stuff, it’s just not coming out on a daily basis because, in life, I like to keep things light for the most part — I like to make jokes all the time, but, deep down, I’m a very serious person who's had to work on anger issues in the past and had to really find balance in how I react to certain situations. The beautiful thing about Guerin is that I can just be the worst parts of me. I can put that on screen because that’s interesting to watch, you know?

M: You know what? No, I’m not. Maybe I should be but, no. I have a tough time living life without leaving my heart on my sleeve and being vulnerable. I think the beauty is in vulnerability, and I admit that I’m not always good at that. I’m actually realizing I’m really bad at that when it comes to relationships with a woman that I may love. It can be very hard for me to say exactly what I want or what I’m feeling. I don’t know why that is exactly, but when it comes to anything else in life, I can say anything I want, anything I’m feeling — I could spill my guts to the cashier at a gas station and I can be okay with that and who I am. So, no, not jaded. The experience that I had with my friend passing, that has just made me more aware, right? Just knowing that accidents like that, freak accidents, like what happened to him on a boat in the middle of Central America at a time where you didn’t think you had a care in the world — that can be flipped on its head in a second. So, just kind of knowing that and that might mean me looking across the street, left and right an extra time, but just kind of learning from every experience but still moving ahead as if I’m just this kid in this world for the first time, soaking everything in. And if I get hurt, that’s just a part of the process. Me being a masochist for my art, because the more I get hurt in real life, the better my art is. It’s kind of a weird balance. If I wasn’t an actor, maybe I wouldn’t feel that way, but I’ve always been this way even before I started acting in my senior year of college. So, that’s tough. I don’t think I’ve been like Michael Guerin, though, where I’m just reaching for answers all the time. I, in the past, prove to myself that I’m a good person or I’m wanted or that I actually can find success in the things I love. It’s just put the hard hat on and go to work and keep plugging away. 

C: Interesting. I think that you have really done a good job of truly just drawing on those experiences then, because you really portray that through Guerin really well. I mean, he’s just so different than you which, I mean, is how acting is supposed to be, I guess, right? [Laughs] I guess I don’t know too much about acting.

M: No, definitely! And maybe we even talked about this in the last interview, but I was always so surprised that Carina MacKenzie, our showrunner, said that, as an actor, I am the most different in real life than I am as my character. It kind of blew my mind! I feel like I am Michael Guerin! I feel like everything Michael Guerin does is exactly how Michael Vlamis would react in a situation, but the difference is, when it comes to acting, the truth I’m bringing is under the circumstances of Michael Guerin. So, what he’s going through is exactly how I would react in those situations, but I’m just not in those situations because that’s not how I think or operate in my life! But if I was to do that, then that is what you would get. So, it doesn’t feel that far off for me because I have all those things in me, that is who I am, a lot of those feelings of anger or jealousy or the feeling of not being loved or proving yourself, being wanted. I have all that stuff, it’s just not coming out on a daily basis because, in life, I like to keep things light for the most part — I like to make jokes all the time, but, deep down, I’m a very serious person who's had to work on anger issues in the past and had to really find balance in how I react to certain situations. The beautiful thing about Guerin is that I can just be the worst parts of me. I can put that on screen because that’s interesting to watch, you know?

Vlamis-Reflections-web-6
Vlamis-Reflections-web-5

C: I’m interested to see you in other stuff. I’m interested to see if your biopic gets made and stuff too, I haven’t seen you in anything else. Or write anything, you know?

M: Well, a lot of people haven’t, which is so funny to me, because I have been doing self-tape auditions right now for movies that are trying to be cast and no idea when production is going to happen, but people are trying to do virtual auditions, trying to fill their cast so that they can go shoot once this pandemic is over. A lot of things I’m auditioning for are comedies, but people are like, “Can he do comedy?” Which is so funny! Comedy is my bread and butter. Comedy is probably what I do better than anything, but people don’t know me as that! They knew me as that initially and that’s why I couldn't even get an audition on "Roswell," because I was the comedy guy, and now I’m, like, the dramatic guy. [Laughs] You always have to prove to people and make them see that you can't be put in a box. It will be very cool for the world to see me acting in other projects and, actually, my first feature film that I produced and starred in called “Five Years Apart” just picked up a distribution deal through an amazing distributor and in the states. We’ve got sales happening in foreign markets right now; we’ve locked up like three territories out of seventeen worldwide and this movie is very special to me. It’s an indie dramatic comedy, pretty much about two estranged brothers coming together over a wild weekend and a very specific incidence happens that forces them together and it’s very funny. It’s a really fun movie. It was a thirteen-day shoot in LA. 

C: Wow! That’s not long at all!

M: No, no! It was very quick. We didn’t have a lot of money, you know? A lot of people said that we couldn’t make the movie for double of what we ended up making it for. Everybody who said that to us, these were line producers who have done big, successful movies, and were just doing us a favor with budgeting, and it comes down to that video game mentality again. Oh, you think I can’t make for this much? Okay, watch me make it for half of that and still do a good job! I don’t know, that might be the whole pride aspect — stubbornness, ego or whatever, but I’m very proud of this movie. We won best ensemble cast at the LA Indie Film Fest last year where it premiered and then we recently picked up distribution. Once this pandemic is over that movie should hit screens, hopefully a few theaters, and then some of the streaming platforms. People will see me in a totally different role than Michael Guerin. 

C: I can’t wait to see it, that sounds awesome.

M: And then, for the writing, the Mac Miller biopic was the first dramatic screenplay I wrote. It’s funny that the drama that I write gets my writing partner and I all the meetings. We’ve met with some major companies since that script made The Black List, but all the other projects we have are all big studio comedies. We’re even about to finish, here in the pandemic, writing my next movie. We’re about 75% done with that and we’ll have a mob action comedy done within the next few weeks. 

C: Oh my god! You’re so productive; it’s insane. It’s so amazing.

C: I’m interested to see you in other stuff. I’m interested to see if your biopic gets made and stuff too, I haven’t seen you in anything else. Or write anything, you know?

M: Well, a lot of people haven’t, which is so funny to me, because I have been doing self-tape auditions right now for movies that are trying to be cast and no idea when production is going to happen, but people are trying to do virtual auditions, trying to fill their cast so that they can go shoot once this pandemic is over. A lot of things I’m auditioning for are comedies, but people are like, “Can he do comedy?” Which is so funny! Comedy is my bread and butter. Comedy is probably what I do better than anything, but people don’t know me as that! They knew me as that initially and that’s why I couldn't even get an audition on "Roswell," because I was the comedy guy, and now I’m, like, the dramatic guy. [Laughs] You always have to prove to people and make them see that you can't be put in a box. It will be very cool for the world to see me acting in other projects and, actually, my first feature film that I produced and starred in called “Five Years Apart” just picked up a distribution deal through an amazing distributor and in the states. We’ve got sales happening in foreign markets right now; we’ve locked up like three territories out of seventeen worldwide and this movie is very special to me. It’s an indie dramatic comedy, pretty much about two estranged brothers coming together over a wild weekend and a very specific incidence happens that forces them together and it’s very funny. It’s a really fun movie. It was a thirteen-day shoot in LA. 

C: Wow! That’s not long at all!

M: No, no! It was very quick. We didn’t have a lot of money, you know? A lot of people said that we couldn’t make the movie for double of what we ended up making it for. Everybody who said that to us, these were line producers who have done big, successful movies, and were just doing us a favor with budgeting, and it comes down to that video game mentality again. Oh, you think I can’t make for this much? Okay, watch me make it for half of that and still do a good job! I don’t know, that might be the whole pride aspect — stubbornness, ego or whatever, but I’m very proud of this movie. We won best ensemble cast at the LA Indie Film Fest last year where it premiered and then we recently picked up distribution. Once this pandemic is over that movie should hit screens, hopefully a few theaters, and then some of the streaming platforms. People will see me in a totally different role than Michael Guerin. 

C: I can’t wait to see it, that sounds awesome.

M: And then, for the writing, the Mac Miller biopic was the first dramatic screenplay I wrote. It’s funny that the drama that I write gets my writing partner and I all the meetings. We’ve met with some major companies since that script made The Black List, but all the other projects we have are all big studio comedies. We’re even about to finish, here in the pandemic, writing my next movie. We’re about 75% done with that and we’ll have a mob action comedy done within the next few weeks. 

C: Oh my god! You’re so productive; it’s insane. It’s so amazing.

C: I’m interested to see you in other stuff. I’m interested to see if your biopic gets made and stuff too, I haven’t seen you in anything else. Or write anything, you know?

M: Well, a lot of people haven’t, which is so funny to me, because I have been doing self-tape auditions right now for movies that are trying to be cast and no idea when production is going to happen, but people are trying to do virtual auditions, trying to fill their cast so that they can go shoot once this pandemic is over. A lot of things I’m auditioning for are comedies, but people are like, “Can he do comedy?” Which is so funny! Comedy is my bread and butter. Comedy is probably what I do better than anything, but people don’t know me as that! They knew me as that initially and that’s why I couldn't even get an audition on "Roswell," because I was the comedy guy, and now I’m, like, the dramatic guy. [Laughs] You always have to prove to people and make them see that you can't be put in a box. It will be very cool for the world to see me acting in other projects and, actually, my first feature film that I produced and starred in called “Five Years Apart” just picked up a distribution deal through an amazing distributor and in the states. We’ve got sales happening in foreign markets right now; we’ve locked up like three territories out of seventeen worldwide and this movie is very special to me. It’s an indie dramatic comedy, pretty much about two estranged brothers coming together over a wild weekend and a very specific incidence happens that forces them together and it’s very funny. It’s a really fun movie. It was a thirteen-day shoot in LA. 

C: Wow! That’s not long at all!

M: No, no! It was very quick. We didn’t have a lot of money, you know? A lot of people said that we couldn’t make the movie for double of what we ended up making it for. Everybody who said that to us, these were line producers who have done big, successful movies, and were just doing us a favor with budgeting, and it comes down to that video game mentality again. Oh, you think I can’t make for this much? Okay, watch me make it for half of that and still do a good job! I don’t know, that might be the whole pride aspect — stubbornness, ego or whatever, but I’m very proud of this movie. We won best ensemble cast at the LA Indie Film Fest last year where it premiered and then we recently picked up distribution. Once this pandemic is over that movie should hit screens, hopefully a few theaters, and then some of the streaming platforms. People will see me in a totally different role than Michael Guerin. 

C: I can’t wait to see it, that sounds awesome.

M: And then, for the writing, the Mac Miller biopic was the first dramatic screenplay I wrote. It’s funny that the drama that I write gets my writing partner and I all the meetings. We’ve met with some major companies since that script made The Black List, but all the other projects we have are all big studio comedies. We’re even about to finish, here in the pandemic, writing my next movie. We’re about 75% done with that and we’ll have a mob action comedy done within the next few weeks. 

C: Oh my god! You’re so productive; it’s insane. It’s so amazing.

C: I’m interested to see you in other stuff. I’m interested to see if your biopic gets made and stuff too, I haven’t seen you in anything else. Or write anything, you know?

M: Well, a lot of people haven’t, which is so funny to me, because I have been doing self-tape auditions right now for movies that are trying to be cast and no idea when production is going to happen, but people are trying to do virtual auditions, trying to fill their cast so that they can go shoot once this pandemic is over. A lot of things I’m auditioning for are comedies, but people are like, “Can he do comedy?” Which is so funny! Comedy is my bread and butter. Comedy is probably what I do better than anything, but people don’t know me as that! They knew me as that initially and that’s why I couldn't even get an audition on "Roswell," because I was the comedy guy, and now I’m, like, the dramatic guy. [Laughs] You always have to prove to people and make them see that you can't be put in a box. It will be very cool for the world to see me acting in other projects and, actually, my first feature film that I produced and starred in called “Five Years Apart” just picked up a distribution deal through an amazing distributor and in the states. We’ve got sales happening in foreign markets right now; we’ve locked up like three territories out of seventeen worldwide and this movie is very special to me. It’s an indie dramatic comedy, pretty much about two estranged brothers coming together over a wild weekend and a very specific incidence happens that forces them together and it’s very funny. It’s a really fun movie. It was a thirteen-day shoot in LA. 

C: Wow! That’s not long at all!

M: No, no! It was very quick. We didn’t have a lot of money, you know? A lot of people said that we couldn’t make the movie for double of what we ended up making it for. Everybody who said that to us, these were line producers who have done big, successful movies, and were just doing us a favor with budgeting, and it comes down to that video game mentality again. Oh, you think I can’t make for this much? Okay, watch me make it for half of that and still do a good job! I don’t know, that might be the whole pride aspect — stubbornness, ego or whatever, but I’m very proud of this movie. We won best ensemble cast at the LA Indie Film Fest last year where it premiered and then we recently picked up distribution. Once this pandemic is over that movie should hit screens, hopefully a few theaters, and then some of the streaming platforms. People will see me in a totally different role than Michael Guerin. 

C: I can’t wait to see it, that sounds awesome.

M: And then, for the writing, the Mac Miller biopic was the first dramatic screenplay I wrote. It’s funny that the drama that I write gets my writing partner and I all the meetings. We’ve met with some major companies since that script made The Black List, but all the other projects we have are all big studio comedies. We’re even about to finish, here in the pandemic, writing my next movie. We’re about 75% done with that and we’ll have a mob action comedy done within the next few weeks. 

C: Oh my god! You’re so productive; it’s insane. It’s so amazing.

C: I’m interested to see you in other stuff. I’m interested to see if your biopic gets made and stuff too, I haven’t seen you in anything else. Or write anything, you know?

M: Well, a lot of people haven’t, which is so funny to me, because I have been doing self-tape auditions right now for movies that are trying to be cast and no idea when production is going to happen, but people are trying to do virtual auditions, trying to fill their cast so that they can go shoot once this pandemic is over. A lot of things I’m auditioning for are comedies, but people are like, “Can he do comedy?” Which is so funny! Comedy is my bread and butter. Comedy is probably what I do better than anything, but people don’t know me as that! They knew me as that initially and that’s why I couldn't even get an audition on "Roswell," because I was the comedy guy, and now I’m, like, the dramatic guy. [Laughs] You always have to prove to people and make them see that you can't be put in a box. It will be very cool for the world to see me acting in other projects and, actually, my first feature film that I produced and starred in called “Five Years Apart” just picked up a distribution deal through an amazing distributor and in the states. We’ve got sales happening in foreign markets right now; we’ve locked up like three territories out of seventeen worldwide and this movie is very special to me. It’s an indie dramatic comedy, pretty much about two estranged brothers coming together over a wild weekend and a very specific incidence happens that forces them together and it’s very funny. It’s a really fun movie. It was a thirteen-day shoot in LA. 

C: Wow! That’s not long at all!

M: No, no! It was very quick. We didn’t have a lot of money, you know? A lot of people said that we couldn’t make the movie for double of what we ended up making it for. Everybody who said that to us, these were line producers who have done big, successful movies, and were just doing us a favor with budgeting, and it comes down to that video game mentality again. Oh, you think I can’t make for this much? Okay, watch me make it for half of that and still do a good job! I don’t know, that might be the whole pride aspect — stubbornness, ego or whatever, but I’m very proud of this movie. We won best ensemble cast at the LA Indie Film Fest last year where it premiered and then we recently picked up distribution. Once this pandemic is over that movie should hit screens, hopefully a few theaters, and then some of the streaming platforms. People will see me in a totally different role than Michael Guerin. 

C: I can’t wait to see it, that sounds awesome.

M: And then, for the writing, the Mac Miller biopic was the first dramatic screenplay I wrote. It’s funny that the drama that I write gets my writing partner and I all the meetings. We’ve met with some major companies since that script made The Black List, but all the other projects we have are all big studio comedies. We’re even about to finish, here in the pandemic, writing my next movie. We’re about 75% done with that and we’ll have a mob action comedy done within the next few weeks. 

C: Oh my god! You’re so productive; it’s insane. It’s so amazing.

M: I just go, go, go, you know? I don’t know if it’s very healthy but it excites me. I live for the excitement. I live for the thrill. I live for the unknown. I was talking to my mom the other day and, I didn’t even know this story, but I guess when we were kids, my sisters and I — if I wanted something, my mom, even before I could really speak, was talking to me, asking questions. She was trying to get me to figure out what I wanted or how to get through a certain situation. If I had a problem with homework and I took it to her, she wouldn’t just do it for me or even just teach me how to do it, she would really push me to figure out how to do it myself. So, I think this feeling that I have really stems from those early days of always having to figure things out on my own. Of course, she would help me if I really, really needed it, but she always made me figure stuff out on my own and I take a lot of pride in that. I like doing that. I don’t know, maybe that’s where the productivity comes or maybe it comes from just not feeling like I’m ever really enough. I don’t actually know, but I know I’ve felt that in certain parts of my life, but I think I’m over that. Yet, the productivity remains. 

C: And you can be proud when you make things because you’re actually doing the shit yourself. You’re actually self-made. You didn’t get this stuff handed to you. 

M: Yeah, and also, don’t get me wrong, all the work that I do — these are my hobbies. What I do for a living are my hobbies, so I don’t think of it as productivity. I think of it as, this is what I need to do every single day. If I’m not doing something, I feel useless. I’ve had those bouts, and I don’t know if that’s healthy or maybe that is just me. Maybe I am just a born storyteller, that’s what I like to do. I like to sit around with friends, tell stories, hear their stories, figure out the little details that made that story so interesting, and then move on to the next story.

C: I mean, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong or bad to have a lifeline, especially in a time like that. It’s necessary; it’s what keeps us going.

M: Exactly. At the beginning of this quarantine, we were not writing, we were just figuring out our lives — what are these next few months going to look like? I was depressed. Then we started diving into this script every day and, all of a sudden, I have this purpose again. That keeps me going. That’s definitely helpful for my mental health. 

C: I feel similarly about projects. I think I do tie a lot of my self-worth into success or self-defined success which isn’t always great, but it keeps me hustling. I’m never just sitting around like, “Oh, what am I gonna do?” I’m doing the shit that’s in my head and I want to make it happen.

M: There’s something very fulfilling about that. 

C: I don’t have sympathy for people who just sit around and don’t know how to start living your life. 

M: I know! I used to be that way even more but over the years I’ve realized that people didn’t have parents like I had. My dad was very tough on me, but always pushed me to be the best version of myself — both my parents did. Were my dad’s ways the best ways to do it? I don’t know. If you tell a lot of people how my dad was, they might think there’s some problems there, but guess what? It worked for me. I think about it as these other people who maybe aren’t feeling the same way as I am about productivity, whatever it may be, maybe they didn’t have the drive instilled in them from their parents. Immediately they’re at a disadvantage. It’s hard to judge somebody without knowing exactly how they were raised because I’m really realizing as I get older that that has defined who I am so much. 

C: That’s true. 

M: I don’t know. I mean, I’m 30 years old now. I turned 30 during the quarantine. I’ve experienced loss in a different way. Swimming up to a body floating in the ocean that you think you’re going to turn over and it’s going to be your buddy just making a goof! Just messing around. Pretending he’s floating in the water and then you turn him around and you realize this is way more serious that I thought it ever could’ve been. Living through a moment like that just makes you feel more and more. A lot of people take a step out of their body and they stop feeling because they don’t want to be heartbroken again or hurt. I’m a little bit the other way. 

I kind of step up a little more. I think that getting so deep into that story — it’s a weird story to tell, but when my buddy died in Panama, I was the one that found him. I was an all-state swimmer as a kid in elementary school! Like, fifty-yard freestyle! I was very fast. So I’m thinking to myself, okay, he’s in the water, I’m probably the most capable of saving him, should something actually be wrong. I dove overboard into the ocean and swam as fast as I could into a pool of blood. I found my buddy and it was not a pretty sight. We got his body back onto the boat, got him to the hospital on the island, which looked like a rundown motel in East Hollywood, and he didn't have a chance. And then it’s this group of ten guys, some of us have been best friends forever, some of us just meeting for the first time because, maybe, college friends are involved and invited instead of just the high school buddies that grew up together. How these ten guys banned together and were there for each other to contact the family back in the states, let them know what happened, and go to the U.S. Embassy in Panama, talk to the authorities, the police, the doctors, and really step up. It’s just been an amazing, horrible experience — something I wish on nobody. 

But it opened me up a lot and surprised me, especially with my buddies from the Southside of Chicago who I would never, ever in a million years thought would go to therapy. Those are the guys that make fun of therapy, right? Even I did at one point growing up. I thought, therapy? Who needs therapy? And then you go and you realize it’s a really healthy thing! I was really ignorant for thinking anything less than how important it is. But those guys are in therapy now and it’s helping them and I thought that that was such a cool thing to come from that experience. These masculine men who have kind of realized that it’s okay to actually be in touch with yourself.

M: I just go, go, go, you know? I don’t know if it’s very healthy but it excites me. I live for the excitement. I live for the thrill. I live for the unknown. I was talking to my mom the other day and, I didn’t even know this story, but I guess when we were kids, my sisters and I — if I wanted something, my mom, even before I could really speak, was talking to me, asking questions. She was trying to get me to figure out what I wanted or how to get through a certain situation. If I had a problem with homework and I took it to her, she wouldn’t just do it for me or even just teach me how to do it, she would really push me to figure out how to do it myself. So, I think this feeling that I have really stems from those early days of always having to figure things out on my own. Of course, she would help me if I really, really needed it, but she always made me figure stuff out on my own and I take a lot of pride in that. I like doing that. I don’t know, maybe that’s where the productivity comes or maybe it comes from just not feeling like I’m ever really enough. I don’t actually know, but I know I’ve felt that in certain parts of my life, but I think I’m over that. Yet, the productivity remains. 

C: And you can be proud when you make things because you’re actually doing the shit yourself. You’re actually self-made. You didn’t get this stuff handed to you. 

M: Yeah, and also, don’t get me wrong, all the work that I do — these are my hobbies. What I do for a living are my hobbies, so I don’t think of it as productivity. I think of it as, this is what I need to do every single day. If I’m not doing something, I feel useless. I’ve had those bouts, and I don’t know if that’s healthy or maybe that is just me. Maybe I am just a born storyteller, that’s what I like to do. I like to sit around with friends, tell stories, hear their stories, figure out the little details that made that story so interesting, and then move on to the next story.

C: I mean, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong or bad to have a lifeline, especially in a time like that. It’s necessary; it’s what keeps us going.

M: Exactly. At the beginning of this quarantine, we were not writing, we were just figuring out our lives — what are these next few months going to look like? I was depressed. Then we started diving into this script every day and, all of a sudden, I have this purpose again. That keeps me going. That’s definitely helpful for my mental health. 

C: I feel similarly about projects. I think I do tie a lot of my self-worth into success or self-defined success which isn’t always great, but it keeps me hustling. I’m never just sitting around like, “Oh, what am I gonna do?” I’m doing the shit that’s in my head and I want to make it happen.

M: There’s something very fulfilling about that. 

C: I don’t have sympathy for people who just sit around and don’t know how to start living your life. 

M: I know! I used to be that way even more but over the years I’ve realized that people didn’t have parents like I had. My dad was very tough on me, but always pushed me to be the best version of myself — both my parents did. Were my dad’s ways the best ways to do it? I don’t know. If you tell a lot of people how my dad was, they might think there’s some problems there, but guess what? It worked for me. I think about it as these other people who maybe aren’t feeling the same way as I am about productivity, whatever it may be, maybe they didn’t have the drive instilled in them from their parents. Immediately they’re at a disadvantage. It’s hard to judge somebody without knowing exactly how they were raised because I’m really realizing as I get older that that has defined who I am so much. 

C: That’s true. 

M: I don’t know. I mean, I’m 30 years old now. I turned 30 during the quarantine. I’ve experienced loss in a different way. Swimming up to a body floating in the ocean that you think you’re going to turn over and it’s going to be your buddy just making a goof! Just messing around. Pretending he’s floating in the water and then you turn him around and you realize this is way more serious that I thought it ever could’ve been. Living through a moment like that just makes you feel more and more. A lot of people take a step out of their body and they stop feeling because they don’t want to be heartbroken again or hurt. I’m a little bit the other way. 

I kind of step up a little more. I think that getting so deep into that story — it’s a weird story to tell, but when my buddy died in Panama, I was the one that found him. I was an all-state swimmer as a kid in elementary school! Like, fifty-yard freestyle! I was very fast. So I’m thinking to myself, okay, he’s in the water, I’m probably the most capable of saving him, should something actually be wrong. I dove overboard into the ocean and swam as fast as I could into a pool of blood. I found my buddy and it was not a pretty sight. We got his body back onto the boat, got him to the hospital on the island, which looked like a rundown motel in East Hollywood, and he didn't have a chance. And then it’s this group of ten guys, some of us have been best friends forever, some of us just meeting for the first time because, maybe, college friends are involved and invited instead of just the high school buddies that grew up together. How these ten guys banned together and were there for each other to contact the family back in the states, let them know what happened, and go to the U.S. Embassy in Panama, talk to the authorities, the police, the doctors, and really step up. It’s just been an amazing, horrible experience — something I wish on nobody. 

But it opened me up a lot and surprised me, especially with my buddies from the Southside of Chicago who I would never, ever in a million years thought would go to therapy. Those are the guys that make fun of therapy, right? Even I did at one point growing up. I thought, therapy? Who needs therapy? And then you go and you realize it’s a really healthy thing! I was really ignorant for thinking anything less than how important it is. But those guys are in therapy now and it’s helping them and I thought that that was such a cool thing to come from that experience. These masculine men who have kind of realized that it’s okay to actually be in touch with yourself.

M: I just go, go, go, you know? I don’t know if it’s very healthy but it excites me. I live for the excitement. I live for the thrill. I live for the unknown. I was talking to my mom the other day and, I didn’t even know this story, but I guess when we were kids, my sisters and I — if I wanted something, my mom, even before I could really speak, was talking to me, asking questions. She was trying to get me to figure out what I wanted or how to get through a certain situation. If I had a problem with homework and I took it to her, she wouldn’t just do it for me or even just teach me how to do it, she would really push me to figure out how to do it myself. So, I think this feeling that I have really stems from those early days of always having to figure things out on my own. Of course, she would help me if I really, really needed it, but she always made me figure stuff out on my own and I take a lot of pride in that. I like doing that. I don’t know, maybe that’s where the productivity comes or maybe it comes from just not feeling like I’m ever really enough. I don’t actually know, but I know I’ve felt that in certain parts of my life, but I think I’m over that. Yet, the productivity remains. 

C: And you can be proud when you make things because you’re actually doing the shit yourself. You’re actually self-made. You didn’t get this stuff handed to you. 

M: Yeah, and also, don’t get me wrong, all the work that I do — these are my hobbies. What I do for a living are my hobbies, so I don’t think of it as productivity. I think of it as, this is what I need to do every single day. If I’m not doing something, I feel useless. I’ve had those bouts, and I don’t know if that’s healthy or maybe that is just me. Maybe I am just a born storyteller, that’s what I like to do. I like to sit around with friends, tell stories, hear their stories, figure out the little details that made that story so interesting, and then move on to the next story.

C: I mean, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong or bad to have a lifeline, especially in a time like that. It’s necessary; it’s what keeps us going.

M: Exactly. At the beginning of this quarantine, we were not writing, we were just figuring out our lives — what are these next few months going to look like? I was depressed. Then we started diving into this script every day and, all of a sudden, I have this purpose again. That keeps me going. That’s definitely helpful for my mental health. 

C: I feel similarly about projects. I think I do tie a lot of my self-worth into success or self-defined success which isn’t always great, but it keeps me hustling. I’m never just sitting around like, “Oh, what am I gonna do?” I’m doing the shit that’s in my head and I want to make it happen.

M: There’s something very fulfilling about that. 

C: I don’t have sympathy for people who just sit around and don’t know how to start living your life. 

M: I know! I used to be that way even more but over the years I’ve realized that people didn’t have parents like I had. My dad was very tough on me, but always pushed me to be the best version of myself — both my parents did. Were my dad’s ways the best ways to do it? I don’t know. If you tell a lot of people how my dad was, they might think there’s some problems there, but guess what? It worked for me. I think about it as these other people who maybe aren’t feeling the same way as I am about productivity, whatever it may be, maybe they didn’t have the drive instilled in them from their parents. Immediately they’re at a disadvantage. It’s hard to judge somebody without knowing exactly how they were raised because I’m really realizing as I get older that that has defined who I am so much. 

C: That’s true. 

M: I don’t know. I mean, I’m 30 years old now. I turned 30 during the quarantine. I’ve experienced loss in a different way. Swimming up to a body floating in the ocean that you think you’re going to turn over and it’s going to be your buddy just making a goof! Just messing around. Pretending he’s floating in the water and then you turn him around and you realize this is way more serious that I thought it ever could’ve been. Living through a moment like that just makes you feel more and more. A lot of people take a step out of their body and they stop feeling because they don’t want to be heartbroken again or hurt. I’m a little bit the other way. 

I kind of step up a little more. I think that getting so deep into that story — it’s a weird story to tell, but when my buddy died in Panama, I was the one that found him. I was an all-state swimmer as a kid in elementary school! Like, fifty-yard freestyle! I was very fast. So I’m thinking to myself, okay, he’s in the water, I’m probably the most capable of saving him, should something actually be wrong. I dove overboard into the ocean and swam as fast as I could into a pool of blood. I found my buddy and it was not a pretty sight. We got his body back onto the boat, got him to the hospital on the island, which looked like a rundown motel in East Hollywood, and he didn't have a chance. And then it’s this group of ten guys, some of us have been best friends forever, some of us just meeting for the first time because, maybe, college friends are involved and invited instead of just the high school buddies that grew up together. How these ten guys banned together and were there for each other to contact the family back in the states, let them know what happened, and go to the U.S. Embassy in Panama, talk to the authorities, the police, the doctors, and really step up. It’s just been an amazing, horrible experience — something I wish on nobody. 

But it opened me up a lot and surprised me, especially with my buddies from the Southside of Chicago who I would never, ever in a million years thought would go to therapy. Those are the guys that make fun of therapy, right? Even I did at one point growing up. I thought, therapy? Who needs therapy? And then you go and you realize it’s a really healthy thing! I was really ignorant for thinking anything less than how important it is. But those guys are in therapy now and it’s helping them and I thought that that was such a cool thing to come from that experience. These masculine men who have kind of realized that it’s okay to actually be in touch with yourself.

M: I just go, go, go, you know? I don’t know if it’s very healthy but it excites me. I live for the excitement. I live for the thrill. I live for the unknown. I was talking to my mom the other day and, I didn’t even know this story, but I guess when we were kids, my sisters and I — if I wanted something, my mom, even before I could really speak, was talking to me, asking questions. She was trying to get me to figure out what I wanted or how to get through a certain situation. If I had a problem with homework and I took it to her, she wouldn’t just do it for me or even just teach me how to do it, she would really push me to figure out how to do it myself. So, I think this feeling that I have really stems from those early days of always having to figure things out on my own. Of course, she would help me if I really, really needed it, but she always made me figure stuff out on my own and I take a lot of pride in that. I like doing that. I don’t know, maybe that’s where the productivity comes or maybe it comes from just not feeling like I’m ever really enough. I don’t actually know, but I know I’ve felt that in certain parts of my life, but I think I’m over that. Yet, the productivity remains. 

C: And you can be proud when you make things because you’re actually doing the shit yourself. You’re actually self-made. You didn’t get this stuff handed to you. 

M: Yeah, and also, don’t get me wrong, all the work that I do — these are my hobbies. What I do for a living are my hobbies, so I don’t think of it as productivity. I think of it as, this is what I need to do every single day. If I’m not doing something, I feel useless. I’ve had those bouts, and I don’t know if that’s healthy or maybe that is just me. Maybe I am just a born storyteller, that’s what I like to do. I like to sit around with friends, tell stories, hear their stories, figure out the little details that made that story so interesting, and then move on to the next story.

C: I mean, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong or bad to have a lifeline, especially in a time like that. It’s necessary; it’s what keeps us going.

M: Exactly. At the beginning of this quarantine, we were not writing, we were just figuring out our lives — what are these next few months going to look like? I was depressed. Then we started diving into this script every day and, all of a sudden, I have this purpose again. That keeps me going. That’s definitely helpful for my mental health. 

C: I feel similarly about projects. I think I do tie a lot of my self-worth into success or self-defined success which isn’t always great, but it keeps me hustling. I’m never just sitting around like, “Oh, what am I gonna do?” I’m doing the shit that’s in my head and I want to make it happen.

M: There’s something very fulfilling about that. 

C: I don’t have sympathy for people who just sit around and don’t know how to start living your life. 

M: I know! I used to be that way even more but over the years I’ve realized that people didn’t have parents like I had. My dad was very tough on me, but always pushed me to be the best version of myself — both my parents did. Were my dad’s ways the best ways to do it? I don’t know. If you tell a lot of people how my dad was, they might think there’s some problems there, but guess what? It worked for me. I think about it as these other people who maybe aren’t feeling the same way as I am about productivity, whatever it may be, maybe they didn’t have the drive instilled in them from their parents. Immediately they’re at a disadvantage. It’s hard to judge somebody without knowing exactly how they were raised because I’m really realizing as I get older that that has defined who I am so much. 

C: That’s true. 

M: I don’t know. I mean, I’m 30 years old now. I turned 30 during the quarantine. I’ve experienced loss in a different way. Swimming up to a body floating in the ocean that you think you’re going to turn over and it’s going to be your buddy just making a goof! Just messing around. Pretending he’s floating in the water and then you turn him around and you realize this is way more serious that I thought it ever could’ve been. Living through a moment like that just makes you feel more and more. A lot of people take a step out of their body and they stop feeling because they don’t want to be heartbroken again or hurt. I’m a little bit the other way. 

I kind of step up a little more. I think that getting so deep into that story — it’s a weird story to tell, but when my buddy died in Panama, I was the one that found him. I was an all-state swimmer as a kid in elementary school! Like, fifty-yard freestyle! I was very fast. So I’m thinking to myself, okay, he’s in the water, I’m probably the most capable of saving him, should something actually be wrong. I dove overboard into the ocean and swam as fast as I could into a pool of blood. I found my buddy and it was not a pretty sight. We got his body back onto the boat, got him to the hospital on the island, which looked like a rundown motel in East Hollywood, and he didn't have a chance. And then it’s this group of ten guys, some of us have been best friends forever, some of us just meeting for the first time because, maybe, college friends are involved and invited instead of just the high school buddies that grew up together. How these ten guys banned together and were there for each other to contact the family back in the states, let them know what happened, and go to the U.S. Embassy in Panama, talk to the authorities, the police, the doctors, and really step up. It’s just been an amazing, horrible experience — something I wish on nobody. 

But it opened me up a lot and surprised me, especially with my buddies from the Southside of Chicago who I would never, ever in a million years thought would go to therapy. Those are the guys that make fun of therapy, right? Even I did at one point growing up. I thought, therapy? Who needs therapy? And then you go and you realize it’s a really healthy thing! I was really ignorant for thinking anything less than how important it is. But those guys are in therapy now and it’s helping them and I thought that that was such a cool thing to come from that experience. These masculine men who have kind of realized that it’s okay to actually be in touch with yourself.

M: I just go, go, go, you know? I don’t know if it’s very healthy but it excites me. I live for the excitement. I live for the thrill. I live for the unknown. I was talking to my mom the other day and, I didn’t even know this story, but I guess when we were kids, my sisters and I — if I wanted something, my mom, even before I could really speak, was talking to me, asking questions. She was trying to get me to figure out what I wanted or how to get through a certain situation. If I had a problem with homework and I took it to her, she wouldn’t just do it for me or even just teach me how to do it, she would really push me to figure out how to do it myself. So, I think this feeling that I have really stems from those early days of always having to figure things out on my own. Of course, she would help me if I really, really needed it, but she always made me figure stuff out on my own and I take a lot of pride in that. I like doing that. I don’t know, maybe that’s where the productivity comes or maybe it comes from just not feeling like I’m ever really enough. I don’t actually know, but I know I’ve felt that in certain parts of my life, but I think I’m over that. Yet, the productivity remains. 

C: And you can be proud when you make things because you’re actually doing the shit yourself. You’re actually self-made. You didn’t get this stuff handed to you. 

M: Yeah, and also, don’t get me wrong, all the work that I do — these are my hobbies. What I do for a living are my hobbies, so I don’t think of it as productivity. I think of it as, this is what I need to do every single day. If I’m not doing something, I feel useless. I’ve had those bouts, and I don’t know if that’s healthy or maybe that is just me. Maybe I am just a born storyteller, that’s what I like to do. I like to sit around with friends, tell stories, hear their stories, figure out the little details that made that story so interesting, and then move on to the next story.

C: I mean, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong or bad to have a lifeline, especially in a time like that. It’s necessary; it’s what keeps us going.

M: Exactly. At the beginning of this quarantine, we were not writing, we were just figuring out our lives — what are these next few months going to look like? I was depressed. Then we started diving into this script every day and, all of a sudden, I have this purpose again. That keeps me going. That’s definitely helpful for my mental health. 

C: I feel similarly about projects. I think I do tie a lot of my self-worth into success or self-defined success which isn’t always great, but it keeps me hustling. I’m never just sitting around like, “Oh, what am I gonna do?” I’m doing the shit that’s in my head and I want to make it happen.

M: There’s something very fulfilling about that. 

C: I don’t have sympathy for people who just sit around and don’t know how to start living your life. 

M: I know! I used to be that way even more but over the years I’ve realized that people didn’t have parents like I had. My dad was very tough on me, but always pushed me to be the best version of myself — both my parents did. Were my dad’s ways the best ways to do it? I don’t know. If you tell a lot of people how my dad was, they might think there’s some problems there, but guess what? It worked for me. I think about it as these other people who maybe aren’t feeling the same way as I am about productivity, whatever it may be, maybe they didn’t have the drive instilled in them from their parents. Immediately they’re at a disadvantage. It’s hard to judge somebody without knowing exactly how they were raised because I’m really realizing as I get older that that has defined who I am so much. 

C: That’s true. 

M: I don’t know. I mean, I’m 30 years old now. I turned 30 during the quarantine. I’ve experienced loss in a different way. Swimming up to a body floating in the ocean that you think you’re going to turn over and it’s going to be your buddy just making a goof! Just messing around. Pretending he’s floating in the water and then you turn him around and you realize this is way more serious that I thought it ever could’ve been. Living through a moment like that just makes you feel more and more. A lot of people take a step out of their body and they stop feeling because they don’t want to be heartbroken again or hurt. I’m a little bit the other way. 

I kind of step up a little more. I think that getting so deep into that story — it’s a weird story to tell, but when my buddy died in Panama, I was the one that found him. I was an all-state swimmer as a kid in elementary school! Like, fifty-yard freestyle! I was very fast. So I’m thinking to myself, okay, he’s in the water, I’m probably the most capable of saving him, should something actually be wrong. I dove overboard into the ocean and swam as fast as I could into a pool of blood. I found my buddy and it was not a pretty sight. We got his body back onto the boat, got him to the hospital on the island, which looked like a rundown motel in East Hollywood, and he didn't have a chance. And then it’s this group of ten guys, some of us have been best friends forever, some of us just meeting for the first time because, maybe, college friends are involved and invited instead of just the high school buddies that grew up together. How these ten guys banned together and were there for each other to contact the family back in the states, let them know what happened, and go to the U.S. Embassy in Panama, talk to the authorities, the police, the doctors, and really step up. It’s just been an amazing, horrible experience — something I wish on nobody. 

But it opened me up a lot and surprised me, especially with my buddies from the Southside of Chicago who I would never, ever in a million years thought would go to therapy. Those are the guys that make fun of therapy, right? Even I did at one point growing up. I thought, therapy? Who needs therapy? And then you go and you realize it’s a really healthy thing! I was really ignorant for thinking anything less than how important it is. But those guys are in therapy now and it’s helping them and I thought that that was such a cool thing to come from that experience. These masculine men who have kind of realized that it’s okay to actually be in touch with yourself.

Vlamis-Relfections-web-8

C: Michael, I’m so sorry that that happened to you and it’s a tragedy that no one should have to experience, but I just want to say thanks for being open about it and being willing to talk with me about it. What you’ve learned from it and how you’ve turned it around and used it in your life and in your art is really beautiful.

M: Thank you. I know my buddy would be very proud, if he’s watching or listening, knowing that I try to make the most out of a horrible situation. That was a lot of what was on my mind during the photoshoot for this and the year anniversary just came up. Sometimes I tell that story and laugh. Such a horrific story but I’m laughing because it doesn’t even seem real! Then I go on a socially distant photoshoot on a trail in the middle of nowhere with Davy; when he asked me about it, it caused me to kind of dive into myself and how I’m feeling. I think a lot of those feelings about my buddy…they didn’t go anywhere, you know? No matter how much I mask them, they didn’t go anywhere. I think a lot of that came in the photos that he took. [Davy] definitely has a special touch for getting the truth out of people. 

C: I’m honored that you talked to me about it and that I’m gonna get to show these photos on my website. I’m really thankful and I appreciate you. 

M: I appreciate you! I love your interviews, they’re always my favorite. The most raw, organic conversations we can have are what I like and that’s what you do. I appreciate that. 

C: Thank you for saying that. 

M: Of course. 

C: Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about while I have you?

M: I think I should thank anyone who’s reading this that has purchased merch from our second season merch line which just wrapped up a couple weeks ago — thank you so much. We beat our numbers from last year. I thought people maybe had enough merch out of me for once, but we crushed our numbers from last year in just a two week span!

C: That’s amazing.

M: It is so amazing! It’s so cool. I think it’s a big testament to my business partner Jesa Joy, who prints all of my merch and softens every single piece so it feels vintage, one of a kind. People got that merch and it could easily be a gimmicky thing, but instead, we’re really making quality clothes starting with Jesa Joy and that’s keeping people coming back. Hopefully, with how open I am on social media, I think that’s resonating with the fans and they appreciate that so the more I give, the more they give. It’s just this beautiful thing that’s setting me up to potentially have my own fashion line one day, maybe take it from merch to fashion, and that’s a goal of mine for many years down the road. The fact that all of my fans are so supportive and just totally understand my humor and what I’m doing means the world to me. It’s just a really cool thing to see and find success in. Otherwise, I pitched for that TV show, one of my childhood idols, one of the biggest comedic actors of all time, and we’re trying to get him attached to my show. He might say no and that’s totally okay because we got him laughing! He was laughing throughout our pitch yesterday and it felt so special. So, maybe, if we did this interview in a week, I’d have amazing news or maybe I would be bummed out because the guy doesn’t get attached to the show. Either way, it’s been experiences like that, little moments where you’re down, you’re out, you’re feeling depressed, and then you’re making a childhood hero of yours laugh over a zoom pitch. Moments like that have really helped me through quarantine — finding those small, little wins every now and then. 

C: The wins are important. 

M: And the win isn’t that you win! It’s not the outcome, it’s the process which I always thought was such bullshit. “Trust the process,” and I didn’t want to trust the process! I wanted to make the process! That’s not possible, you know? It’s only possible to a certain extent, you really have to let things play out as they want to and I’m finding the wins in letting things play out the way the universe wants them to.

C: Michael, I’m so sorry that that happened to you and it’s a tragedy that no one should have to experience, but I just want to say thanks for being open about it and being willing to talk with me about it. What you’ve learned from it and how you’ve turned it around and used it in your life and in your art is really beautiful.

M: Thank you. I know my buddy would be very proud, if he’s watching or listening, knowing that I try to make the most out of a horrible situation. That was a lot of what was on my mind during the photoshoot for this and the year anniversary just came up. Sometimes I tell that story and laugh. Such a horrific story but I’m laughing because it doesn’t even seem real! Then I go on a socially distant photoshoot on a trail in the middle of nowhere with Davy; when he asked me about it, it caused me to kind of dive into myself and how I’m feeling. I think a lot of those feelings about my buddy…they didn’t go anywhere, you know? No matter how much I mask them, they didn’t go anywhere. I think a lot of that came in the photos that he took. [Davy] definitely has a special touch for getting the truth out of people. 

C: I’m honored that you talked to me about it and that I’m gonna get to show these photos on my website. I’m really thankful and I appreciate you. 

M: I appreciate you! I love your interviews, they’re always my favorite. The most raw, organic conversations we can have are what I like and that’s what you do. I appreciate that. 

C: Thank you for saying that. 

M: Of course. 

C: Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about while I have you?

M: I think I should thank anyone who’s reading this that has purchased merch from our second season merch line which just wrapped up a couple weeks ago — thank you so much. We beat our numbers from last year. I thought people maybe had enough merch out of me for once, but we crushed our numbers from last year in just a two week span!

C: That’s amazing.

M: It is so amazing! It’s so cool. I think it’s a big testament to my business partner Jesa Joy, who prints all of my merch and softens every single piece so it feels vintage, one of a kind. People got that merch and it could easily be a gimmicky thing, but instead, we’re really making quality clothes starting with Jesa Joy and that’s keeping people coming back. Hopefully, with how open I am on social media, I think that’s resonating with the fans and they appreciate that so the more I give, the more they give. It’s just this beautiful thing that’s setting me up to potentially have my own fashion line one day, maybe take it from merch to fashion, and that’s a goal of mine for many years down the road. The fact that all of my fans are so supportive and just totally understand my humor and what I’m doing means the world to me. It’s just a really cool thing to see and find success in. Otherwise, I pitched for that TV show, one of my childhood idols, one of the biggest comedic actors of all time, and we’re trying to get him attached to my show. He might say no and that’s totally okay because we got him laughing! He was laughing throughout our pitch yesterday and it felt so special. So, maybe, if we did this interview in a week, I’d have amazing news or maybe I would be bummed out because the guy doesn’t get attached to the show. Either way, it’s been experiences like that, little moments where you’re down, you’re out, you’re feeling depressed, and then you’re making a childhood hero of yours laugh over a zoom pitch. Moments like that have really helped me through quarantine — finding those small, little wins every now and then. 

C: The wins are important. 

M: And the win isn’t that you win! It’s not the outcome, it’s the process which I always thought was such bullshit. “Trust the process,” and I didn’t want to trust the process! I wanted to make the process! That’s not possible, you know? It’s only possible to a certain extent, you really have to let things play out as they want to and I’m finding the wins in letting things play out the way the universe wants them to.

C: Michael, I’m so sorry that that happened to you and it’s a tragedy that no one should have to experience, but I just want to say thanks for being open about it and being willing to talk with me about it. What you’ve learned from it and how you’ve turned it around and used it in your life and in your art is really beautiful.

M: Thank you. I know my buddy would be very proud, if he’s watching or listening, knowing that I try to make the most out of a horrible situation. That was a lot of what was on my mind during the photoshoot for this and the year anniversary just came up. Sometimes I tell that story and laugh. Such a horrific story but I’m laughing because it doesn’t even seem real! Then I go on a socially distant photoshoot on a trail in the middle of nowhere with Davy; when he asked me about it, it caused me to kind of dive into myself and how I’m feeling. I think a lot of those feelings about my buddy…they didn’t go anywhere, you know? No matter how much I mask them, they didn’t go anywhere. I think a lot of that came in the photos that he took. [Davy] definitely has a special touch for getting the truth out of people. 

C: I’m honored that you talked to me about it and that I’m gonna get to show these photos on my website. I’m really thankful and I appreciate you. 

M: I appreciate you! I love your interviews, they’re always my favorite. The most raw, organic conversations we can have are what I like and that’s what you do. I appreciate that. 

C: Thank you for saying that. 

M: Of course. 

C: Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about while I have you?

M: I think I should thank anyone who’s reading this that has purchased merch from our second season merch line which just wrapped up a couple weeks ago — thank you so much. We beat our numbers from last year. I thought people maybe had enough merch out of me for once, but we crushed our numbers from last year in just a two week span!

C: That’s amazing.

M: It is so amazing! It’s so cool. I think it’s a big testament to my business partner Jesa Joy, who prints all of my merch and softens every single piece so it feels vintage, one of a kind. People got that merch and it could easily be a gimmicky thing, but instead, we’re really making quality clothes starting with Jesa Joy and that’s keeping people coming back. Hopefully, with how open I am on social media, I think that’s resonating with the fans and they appreciate that so the more I give, the more they give. It’s just this beautiful thing that’s setting me up to potentially have my own fashion line one day, maybe take it from merch to fashion, and that’s a goal of mine for many years down the road. The fact that all of my fans are so supportive and just totally understand my humor and what I’m doing means the world to me. It’s just a really cool thing to see and find success in. Otherwise, I pitched for that TV show, one of my childhood idols, one of the biggest comedic actors of all time, and we’re trying to get him attached to my show. He might say no and that’s totally okay because we got him laughing! He was laughing throughout our pitch yesterday and it felt so special. So, maybe, if we did this interview in a week, I’d have amazing news or maybe I would be bummed out because the guy doesn’t get attached to the show. Either way, it’s been experiences like that, little moments where you’re down, you’re out, you’re feeling depressed, and then you’re making a childhood hero of yours laugh over a zoom pitch. Moments like that have really helped me through quarantine — finding those small, little wins every now and then. 

C: The wins are important. 

M: And the win isn’t that you win! It’s not the outcome, it’s the process which I always thought was such bullshit. “Trust the process,” and I didn’t want to trust the process! I wanted to make the process! That’s not possible, you know? It’s only possible to a certain extent, you really have to let things play out as they want to and I’m finding the wins in letting things play out the way the universe wants them to.

C: Michael, I’m so sorry that that happened to you and it’s a tragedy that no one should have to experience, but I just want to say thanks for being open about it and being willing to talk with me about it. What you’ve learned from it and how you’ve turned it around and used it in your life and in your art is really beautiful.

M: Thank you. I know my buddy would be very proud, if he’s watching or listening, knowing that I try to make the most out of a horrible situation. That was a lot of what was on my mind during the photoshoot for this and the year anniversary just came up. Sometimes I tell that story and laugh. Such a horrific story but I’m laughing because it doesn’t even seem real! Then I go on a socially distant photoshoot on a trail in the middle of nowhere with Davy; when he asked me about it, it caused me to kind of dive into myself and how I’m feeling. I think a lot of those feelings about my buddy…they didn’t go anywhere, you know? No matter how much I mask them, they didn’t go anywhere. I think a lot of that came in the photos that he took. [Davy] definitely has a special touch for getting the truth out of people. 

C: I’m honored that you talked to me about it and that I’m gonna get to show these photos on my website. I’m really thankful and I appreciate you. 

M: I appreciate you! I love your interviews, they’re always my favorite. The most raw, organic conversations we can have are what I like and that’s what you do. I appreciate that. 

C: Thank you for saying that. 

M: Of course. 

C: Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about while I have you?

M: I think I should thank anyone who’s reading this that has purchased merch from our second season merch line which just wrapped up a couple weeks ago — thank you so much. We beat our numbers from last year. I thought people maybe had enough merch out of me for once, but we crushed our numbers from last year in just a two week span!

C: That’s amazing.

M: It is so amazing! It’s so cool. I think it’s a big testament to my business partner Jesa Joy, who prints all of my merch and softens every single piece so it feels vintage, one of a kind. People got that merch and it could easily be a gimmicky thing, but instead, we’re really making quality clothes starting with Jesa Joy and that’s keeping people coming back. Hopefully, with how open I am on social media, I think that’s resonating with the fans and they appreciate that so the more I give, the more they give. It’s just this beautiful thing that’s setting me up to potentially have my own fashion line one day, maybe take it from merch to fashion, and that’s a goal of mine for many years down the road. The fact that all of my fans are so supportive and just totally understand my humor and what I’m doing means the world to me. It’s just a really cool thing to see and find success in. Otherwise, I pitched for that TV show, one of my childhood idols, one of the biggest comedic actors of all time, and we’re trying to get him attached to my show. He might say no and that’s totally okay because we got him laughing! He was laughing throughout our pitch yesterday and it felt so special. So, maybe, if we did this interview in a week, I’d have amazing news or maybe I would be bummed out because the guy doesn’t get attached to the show. Either way, it’s been experiences like that, little moments where you’re down, you’re out, you’re feeling depressed, and then you’re making a childhood hero of yours laugh over a zoom pitch. Moments like that have really helped me through quarantine — finding those small, little wins every now and then. 

C: The wins are important. 

M: And the win isn’t that you win! It’s not the outcome, it’s the process which I always thought was such bullshit. “Trust the process,” and I didn’t want to trust the process! I wanted to make the process! That’s not possible, you know? It’s only possible to a certain extent, you really have to let things play out as they want to and I’m finding the wins in letting things play out the way the universe wants them to.

Midnight Woman Moon

Follow us on Instagram

Support us on Patreon

© Midnight Woman Inc. 2020

For general inquiries, please contact us at hello@midnight-woman.com

For advertising opportunities, please write to us at goldie@midnight-woman.com

Have you been to Midnight Woman? That's our sister. Submit anonymously here.

For general inquiries, please contact us at hello@midnight-woman.com

 

For advertising opportunities, please write to us at goldie@midnight-woman.com

 

Have you been to Midnight Woman? That's our sister.

Midnight Woman is an online platform that welcomes contributors of all kinds to submit personal experiences anonymously.

We aim to redefine the way we talk about what's happened to us, no matter the subject. l'Odet exists for the named to encourage the nameless.

Midnight Woman is an online platform that welcomes contributors of all kinds to submit personal experiences.

We aim to redefine the way we talk about what's happened to us, no matter the subject. L'Odet exists for the named to encourage the nameless.