Bookpleasures.com is pleased to welcome as our guest today Andrew Mondia. Andrew is a comedy actor, TV presenter, voice-over, and entrepreneur. He has performed for Queen Elizabeth ll twice at the Opening Ceremonies for both 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games and in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
His film and TV credits include Another’s Hand, Windup, News Carlos, Figuratively Speaking, Pink & White, Mailman's Fate, The Horror Seasons, Luthor's Theory and The Clicking.
His theater credits include Carry on Brighton, Sound, Songs for Survivors UK, Two Bloody Queens, Southwark Mysteries, Other Freds, Drama, An Intimate Evening w. Andrew Mondia, Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound, Recipe For Lovers, J.P.Shanley's Welcome To The Moon and Other Plays, AIDA, and Pinnocchio.
Andrew is currently working on a one man show called Confessions of a Pear-Shaped Pupil.
Norm: Good day Andrew and thanks for participating in our interview.
What motivated you to become and actor and what was your training? Do you specialize in any particular acting technique?
Andrew: From an early age, I have enjoyed entertaining the people around me. But the catalyst was my paternal grandfather who was the biggest influence in my life. He loved to play the accordion and so did my dad. Performing has always been a passion of mine and it felt right to go into it as a career.
I just took classes here and there on various techniques and did go for one year to an acting school but left halfway through before it ended which turned out few months later school went out of business. Courses and training have ranged from dance, singing to the acting course you find like auditioning, camera, cold reading to stand-up comedy. I love to make people laugh and found comedy my strongest asset however others tell me I would make a could dramatic actor.
Norm: Do you believe that there is a need to permit actors room for their own creativity and if so, why?
Andrew: Of course there is a need to permit actors room for their own creativity. It’s one of the reasons you are being hired. You are adding into the vision of what the project is all about. Being a part of a stage or film show is a team effort. You are collaborating with other people and a Director who is seeing what is being done. You add something special to the role which is why you are chosen for it.
Norm: How do you go about working on your roles and how much research do you undertake for a role?
Andrew: Depends really on the role. Some take research but mostly from my own experiences. Every role is an extension of me which I add into the part. I go by feeling what is right for the character. Sometimes seeking guidance and coaching from others especially if it requires me to sing and/or dance is really helpful. But most importantly practice practice practice or rehearse rehearse rehearse. I find I work best once I have memorized my lines because then I can start to play around with the role and have more fun with what can be done with the character.
Norm: How do you think acting has changed over the years?
Andrew: Well there is a lot more people wanting to pursue acting but there always was no matter what era people are in that are taking the step follow this dream. Also certain topics that once were taboo to have on film/TV are now alright or shows are breaking the barriers to subjects. Hollywood is losing its dominance even though big decisions are still made there. You can also produce very cheaply your own project. The Internet has changed a lot and audiences can be reached much faster and industry people can be reached more easily through various social media platforms.
Norm: Are you aware of any particular influences on your acting?
Andrew: I’ve watched a lot of films and TV shows since I was a child. From actors such as the late Robin Williams when he did Mork and Mindy to his films and then there is Julie Andrews in my favourite movie Mary Poppins.
Norm: What are the qualities in actors you most admire?
Andrew: The actors that take risks and broaden to try new roles. The ones who are down to earth and do it because they want to and not because it brings them fame and glory (even though that is an added bonus).
Norm: What would make you turn down a role?
Andrew: Really depends on many factors. A main factor would be whether or not I can connect with the role on different levels and have fun. I would not do roles that require smoking as I am a non-smoker.
Norm: Who do you look to for criticism of your acting?
Andrew: I often look outside myself but really inside is where I need to look. As really it is all about trusting yourself. Listening to the director is also key as he sees what you don’t.
Norm: What would you like to say to actors and performers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep acting, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
Andrew: Don’t let people stop you from following your dreams in acting. If you want it bad enough go for it but live your life and let it follow. Acting is not the end of the world so keep your eyes on the prize and persistence is key. I have been pursuing this since I was a child. I have had my successes but not yet where I want to be. Just see it happening and trust that all will work out. Keep a positive frame of mind and be neutral. Intention-Attention-No Tension. The No Tension is to not worry about the How. The answer will come.
Norm: Could you tell our audience something about the current work you are working on, Confessions of a Pear-Shaped Pupil? What does the title signify?
Andrew: It is my one man show about my life and challenges growing up. A story of inspiration that no matter what challenges you face to keep following your dreams.
Norm: What is next for Andrew Mondia and where can our readers find out more about you?
Andrew: Well, I am planning to move to LA and make it in Hollywood finally. My WEBSITE and you can sign up to my monthly E-note to find out monthly what is going on in my world.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Andrew: I will just leave you with a quote I came up with... "It takes courage to take a leap of faith into an unknown world” Thank-you!
Norm: Thanks again and good luck with all of your future endeavors