Last week, the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles screened the final episode of the television series, Southland, and the fourth episode of Band of Brothers. Why you ask? Because of our special guest, actor, Michael Cudlitz. From his introduction to when he left the stage, Michael was very down-to-earth and cordial – something that is truly refreshing in this town.
Michael discussed his fondness for TV work, due to the fact that most series are very character driven. He also talked about coping with the ups-and-downs of being an actor. Even Michael is currently “unemployed” (although, of course, he has prospects) and this didn’t seem to bother him in the least. He encouraged NYFA’s acting students to surround themselves with positive people who motivate, not bring them down, and to always be doing something to progress their career. “I think it’s all hard and it’s all exciting,” added Cudlitz.
Another aspect of acting that Michael stressed was research and “doing your homework.” Michael had been on at least twenty ride-alongs with cops while preparing for his role of Officer John Cooper on Southland. Though, he admits he was fairly unprepared for his role as a World War 2 soldier in Band of Brothers.
“You need to just go with what’s there. You need to live in that moment… What’s important is, whatever work you do at home, trust that it’s going to be there when you’re at work, and forget about it, in a way. I mean, forget about it in the moment. Don’t get so lost in the process, that the process is screwing you up. Because other people, other actors, directors, everyone’s going to bring different elements into it, things that you never thought of, and it’s going to help elevate what you’re doing.”
All in all, his love of acting was very inspiring. He’s truly the kind of guy you’d want in your group of friends. It’s clear that his success was a result of focus and hard work.