excited to have as our guest actor Vinicius Machado. Vinicius
is a Golden Globe award-winner and is known for his performances in
Monster, The Celestine Prophecy, Get Smart, Fast Glass Sunken
City, and Real Premonition, Beautiful & Twisted, Misfortune, to
name a few.
He also has had the good fortune in landing
big-time roles in hit television shows such as: The Shield, Cold
Case, General Hospital Flash Forward, CSI: Miami, Southland,
Sleeper Cell, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,
Eagleheart, and Dark Blue, as well as others.
Vinicius also is an established, and working writer, a profession he always envisioned embracing in the long run. Vinicius currently stars in the hit television series, Power, produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
Norm: Good day Vinicius and thanks for participating in our interview.
What was your training as
an actor and do you specialize in any
Vinicius: Acting sort of fell in to my lap. I wasn't trying to pursue it at first. It has been all due to my elective class in high school (drama), where I had to audition for one of the school plays as a requirement for the class I was coerced to be in. I booked my audition and got a leading role in Shakespeare's A MidSummer Night's' Dream.
I fell in love with the stage and
acting. But I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing. Honestly. I
was apparently good because I continued to book almost every other
play my high school produced for the remainder of my time there. I
did join the drama magnet program at Dr.Phillips High, and got some
basic knowledge, training. I auditioned for Universal Studios
Orlando, and at my first attempt, I got hired into the Entertainment
Department. I began doing films, commercials, industrials, etc.
join different acting schools, like Zoe And Company, inc. Acts III,
Universal Studios (many different classes), etc. I say all this to
say, that although I did go to acting schools, have taken workshops,
joined different theaters and all.
I've even had the privilege of studying with "Richard Brander" (Kevin Costners' acting coach and friend for decades) he is one of the biggest acting coaches in Hollywood. So, even though I've had much training that I could boast about. I feel that most of my craft was developed and refined at the actual work itself. You see I have always worked. I have always been on a set. there hasn't been a year where I haven't worked, even if it was only a few jobs that year. Don't get me wrong. Classes are extremely important. I don't dismiss them in any regard. But there's nothing like being on the set. And for me, most of my actual craft came from the school of doing!
Norm: What motivates you to act?
Vinicius: Aside from drinking and eating the Arts, I
believe that acting is such a miracle of a gift. Like most gifts, you
can misuse it, abuse it, and waste it. But there's no gift like the
ability to engage with someones thinking and feeling and through that
channel, to draw them out of their reality and into another. It's
liberating. It's serving to the human spirit. We need to dream and
imagine and I believe that acting is a means to get us there. I love
people. Performing is my way of staying connected and relating. I
can't imagine myself doing anything else.
Norm: How much research do you undertake for a role and how do you set about working on your roles?
Vinicius: It's a lot! It depends on
the role, type of work, time, etc. My stereotype is such that for the
most part it's all the same at the end of the day. With that being
said, generally speaking I have an imaginary backpack from where I
pull that guy out from when needed. So he's always ready.
for me, because I like to push myself beyond my own abilities, is to
find a new way of conveying the character. Generally speaking, my
research never ends. There's no frame time to it, I am a constant
Now, obviously, I don't have all the time in the world to
prepare for a role when I'm told I will be shooting in a few days. So,
practically, I go through a very mechanical routine that I have
acquired for myself.
One, I dress him. Probably the last thing to do
for some. Not for me. The quicker I can look in the mirror and
believe myself to be someone else. Then I can move into his way of
Two, I then compile a list of all that I know about him.
It's pages sometimes of just facts. This is all aside from having my
lines already out of the way. Then, I memorize these facts. This
helps me on my next step.
Three, I make a bucket list for him. These
are my justifications, motives and world view. All of this is still
just the background homework. I then have to provoke myself to
getting to the point of actually acting, feeling, thinking like he
would. It's not easy to set aside your personal daily worries and
become someone else all of a sudden, specially when you have kids.
Music helps me a lot to achieve this and also the use of personal things. But sometimes, I can't reach it in time, so I go method and just throw myself out there and literally become that character. So, depending on how much time I have till I'm on set, these steps will vary in degrees.
Norm: What are the qualities in actors you most admire?
Vinicius: Creativeness. It
should go without saying, but sometimes even common sense is not
enough. And I'm not just referring to interpretation. I'm talking
about dealing with the industry as a whole. It's called "Show
Business" for a reason. There's two parts to that. When an actor
can properly manage, diffuse, and sustain his or her career
successfully, it means they have been very creative about it. Also
Humility, generosity and far beyond anything else teachable. There's
always room to grow i believe.
Norm: Are you aware of any particular influences on your acting?
Vinicius: My fellow
actors. From the least to the greatest. I learn from everybody. I
watch as many performances I can. You can always take something away
from even a black box production.
Norm: Which of your
fictional characters would you most like to have a drink with, and
Vinicius: Danny Velasquez. I played him on
Southland. Because he was a man with an amputated spirit, I would
love to have offered a word of encouragement. Danny was a war hero
turned into an alcoholic who is incapable of saving his dad from
being evicted. As fate would have it, he commits murder and ends up a
bum wasting his life away.
Norm: Do you believe that observation is very important for an actor? If so, why?
Vinicius: It's critical. We are representing life in every
sense. The worst thing an actor can ever do is to become complacent
and or ignorant to it.
Norm: What effect do you hope to have on your audience
Vinicius: I can't please
everybody. So I never set goals for myself that way. I know some are
going to love me while others will hate me for it. I hope that they
will at least respect my growth. Overall, I'm always better today
then yesterday. So as an actor to audience relationship, I hope they
will recognize that.
Norm: Which directors inspired you to do your best work?
Vinicius: I really
enjoyed working with Bobby Roth on Flash Forward. He also
directed me on Lincoln Heights. I have many others to thank. But he
probably stands as my top favorite.
Norm: What would you
like to say to actors and writers who are reading this interview
and wondering if they can keep acting and creating, if they are
good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough
Vinicius: Never give up! Never give in. You want something go get it, period. Listen to me. I wasn't Union when I came out to Hollywood from Florida. I had so many people telling me I wasn't going to make it. My own agent in Florida told me that in order even to have a chance I had to be Union.
My first two to three
weeks of being out here, I got a manager, agent, a series regular
role on a hit show and I became Union. Now, I'll also say this.
The problem most people don't succeed, is not because they
quit, necessarily. The problem is that they don't take advantage
of the opportunity within the lifetime of the opportunity. You are
never going to be ready perfectly. That doesn't exist. When an
opportunity presents itself, you have to just cease it. Showing up is
only half the battle. I see so many people waiting for everything to
be aligned perfectly for them to jump into their dreams. That's a
mistake. Perfect time is an illusion.
Time passes and we get older,
life gets harder, etc. What you have to do is simply just do it.
Spend all your time focusing on grinding. Shift your focus from your
distractions to your desires. From your incapabilities into your
abilities. If I had listened to everyone, including my agent when I
moved out here today I would have been doing something I didn't want
A friend offered to move with me. We had nothing else. I didn't know how it was going to play out. We planned as much as we could, but that's it. I got here, and I didn't wait for everything to get perfect.
Day one I started grinding. I made phone calls, I got
busy even before having a daytime job. You see. If you have an
opportunity to make something, even if it's so small that it may seem
insignificant right now. Do it. I promise you that it will have great
significance later. But you have to take advantage of it right then
and there. Jump and just get it done. Not later when the bills are
paid, and the money is balanced, and there's no worries, you have a
house, a car, etc. No. Do it, right then and there. Without anything
but the hope of seeing your dream coming true. And little by little
you will not only become what you want, but things will begin
aligning for you. Impossible is nothing. If I can do it, so can you!
Norm: Could you tell our audience a little about the role you play in Power?
I played Nomar. A gang member of the Soldado Nation gang, who is a
pedophile for dating his bosses fourteen old daughter secretly.
He is black mailed by the FBI who discover his little secret and
coerce him to be counter Intelligence in their pursuit of their
most wanted Lobos. Nomar is stabbed and left for dead after
his boss finds out he is dating his daughter and sends someone to
kill him. The FBI finds him in time, but for what happens next,
you'll have to tune into season two premiering 2015.
Norm: After your phenomenal success as an actor, what remains "undone" for you? What is the one thing you haven't done, that you are still "itching" to accomplish?"
certain people I'd like to work with. Martin Scorsese for one.
Tarantino. Denzel Washington, to name a few. These people have
contributed greatly to the evolution of cinema history. I hope to
learn from them directly one day.
Norm: Where can our
readers find out more about you?
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Vinicius: Why do I
care to support organizations like Feed The Children? I think
children reflect our humanity in such a precious unique way that it
speaks volume about our love for each other. Let me explain. They
can't provide for themselves, yet they teach us and make life so much
better. It is our responsibility to not only raise them, but to give
them a life worth living.
What does it say about us when thousands of
kids are starving? Why should any one kid have to ever be subjected
to that type of life? They can't do any different. We can. It's not a
matter of money. We don't necessarily need more money to feed them.
It's a principal of love. We need to care for them as we care for
ourselves. We need to put them first. I would starve before my kids
ever do. If everyone would think this way, we wouldn't have any
children starving anymore.
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors
Vinicius THANK YOU!