Updated: May 5
Marcus Lantero is an up in-coming SAG-AFTRA actor that has had six independent film roles, TV commercials, music videos, two streaming series roles, as well as being awarded 3 CV Indie Film Awards for his acting roles.
I had the opportunity to interview Marcus Lantero about his late start in life into the acting industry, what his journey has taught him so far, and how he has gotten involved in the independent film industry.
Marcus, tell our readers a little about yourself and how you came to get involved as an actor in the independent film industry: I was introduced to performing and acting as a youngster, with my mother encouraging me with music and dance lessons, as well as acting courses in school. As an only child, I had the blessing of getting the attention of my family, inspiring me to continue in that direction with school productions and modeling in Chicago. I was fortunate to travel many summers with my family during my childhood to Hollywood and to the Palm Springs desert area. I always loved my visits and had decided that one day I would live here.
As a young adult in Chicago, I was drawn into the family business of printing and publishing, starting a family, etc. I was re-introduced to local acting and modeling once I relocated to the California desert. That's where I got “the bug” once again to pursue acting as a career. My first “feature film” was the independent film “The Assumptions” in 2016 with Gina Sedman Films. I have had the pleasure of having a role in five feature films with Gina Sedman.
Marcus, what would you say has drawn you into pursuing acting at this stage in your life? I am finding the challenges of acting and performing a rewarding experience, offering me the opportunity to reach within myself to discover emotions and life experiences that I can inject into my roles. I also like to draw from people and personalities of my life adding to my skills.
Acting is a never-ending process of growth and development of characters to discover and perform. I have had the rare experience to have a “second chance” in a career of acting and I owe my opportunities in that direction in no small part to Gina Sedman, independent film writer and producer.
Gina has offered my acting career the exposure of both supporting and lead roles in her independent films, with the most recent film “The Star Connection” premiering in March 2020 as the lead character “Leonardo.”
I see that you have received several awards in your independent film career in the past few years, what would you attribute that success to, and what advice would you give to other actors looking to develop their careers?
I was honored to have received the 2019 CV Indie Film “Prestige Award “reflecting the outstanding actor of the year. I was awarded this from the production of The Star Connection. Working with Gina Sedman has truly been a blessing in my professional achievements as an actor. I had received “Best Impromptu & Actor” for The One Year Pact 2017 and “Best Male Actor” for my role in Acts of Kindness 2018.
I am so appreciative for the opportunities that I have been given, and I am excited to continue the development of my skills applying them to my acting roles, even more importantly, to my personal development as a human being.
My advice to another “budding actor” is to be very observant of life, take in all that it offers you each day. I was given advise by an accomplished actor Michael Dante, who wisely said: “Don't worry about the money, take as many roles and opportunities that you can, developing your skills. The money will follow”. I have taken that advice to heart, and so should anyone in this industry.
Most film projects take many years to develop, roles change, and shoot dates and times adjust
regularly. Don't get discouraged when you don't get called back from auditions, having the opportunity to have casting directors see your face is a bonus in itself. Be specific to the audition role, be prepared, be on time, make eye contact, show appreciation and leave. They will appreciate that you respect the tight schedules they have and will remember you in the future.
The profession of acting and performing is going into business for yourself. Like any profession, it will take many years of time and devotion to grow and create your “product”. Be dedicated to your investment of time and energy. Invest in your skills development, invest in what you are bringing to every project. Stay relevant to your marketing profile and update photo's every couple of years. Be present and appreciative to every opportunity to meet people in the industry, it is the people you meet in life that will assist you in your professional success. If you love what you are doing, all the time you invest will be worth it!
There are no guaranties in any project. As the saying goes “don't quit the day job”.
Marcus, what would you say that you enjoy the “most” and the “least” about the acting and film industry? I embrace the ability to meet other performers and play a variety of characters. As a developing actor, I am challenged with memorization. Once I have the lines memorized, injecting the emotions and personality is the final layer of acting that is difficult, but as mentioned previously, the most rewarding once I accomplish it.
What I don't care for is the “hurry up and wait” aspect of the industry of film making. It is a very long process in shooting the scenes, requiring long hours to provide a few min of useful footage. I also have a hard time understanding those who don't take their roles seriously, arriving late or unprepared. I always strive to be a professional, giving my best for the smallest of projects to the larger ones.
Tell us what you are currently involved in and what skills you want bring to into your future projects: I am presently working on a developing series “Marks Place” as the lead character “Mark "with Producer Sonny Vellozzi. The first two episodes will become available for viewing on Amazon by the end of January 2020.
I will soon be starting the streaming series “Agoraphobia” as the lead role with GNA Universal Media Partner NDMETV this coming year. NDMETV will be offering a variety of family friendly TV network programming and entertainment, launching its first programming in February 2020.
The independent entertainment industry is a fast growing and diverse entertainment choice. GNA Universal Media is developing a wonderful platform for independent artists from around the world to share their projects and talents, I am proud to be part of that environment and appreciate the opportunity to participate.
I would like to be remembered by my peers as a professional. I like to bring levity to the set, enjoy getting to connect and support the cast and crew. Being prepared when it is time to role the cameras and bring my best. I hope that I will be recognized as an asset to a production and respected for my devotion to a project. Mostly I think we all strive to be the best person we can be, to live our lives through love and faith. I hope I will be successful in making that impression on my family and friends as well as the industry people in my life.