Interview with actor Christopher Harvey

  • How did you get involved in acting?

A dare from an ex-girlfriend coupled with the need for another college elective, prompted me to sign up for a theater class. The instructor saw something and suggested I take a workshop at a local professional theater and the spark was lit. I started seeking out auditions after that.

  • How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a theater play? And which one do you prefer?

Film is generally more internal, more subtle because the camera is right in your face catching every tiny thing. It can see what you’re thinking. The process is stop and go, whereas theater is on until you’re done that night… then do it all again the next night. And you have to broaden your performance so that everyone in the venue sees and understands. I enjoy them both. Their processes are so different, but yet they fulfill the same need… like a burrito and a taco.

  • What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

My biggest weak point is being able to get out of my own head. To stop thinking so much and just be in the moment, to just react. Mainly, being as prepared as possible.

  • What are your strong points as an actor?

As far as my strong points… I think I’m pretty flexible when it comes to character type. I don’t really fit any specific one, so it’s not as hard for people to see me in a role as another actor who might not be that character type. And I’m a rather patient person.

  • What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

The main thing I’ve learned is, you never stop learning. Every project teaches you something, either about the craft, the business or yourself.

  • What makes a good scene partner?

For me, a good scene partner is someone who can play and has not fixed themselves on how they think the scene should go. Also, an actor who gives energy not just takes.

  • What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

I think that learning the business side of acting is one of the biggest hurdles. That lack of knowledge has put many actors on the short end of the stick. The ebb and flow of work, how to support yourself during those ebbs and not letting rejection get to you.

  • What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

As an actor, like I mentioned before, getting out of my one’s own head. After you’ve read and dissected the script, built a backstory for your character, figured out relationships with other characters, defined your arc and the story’s arc… you have to not think about all of that and just live in the world that the writer wrote and the director is trying to build.

  • What do you do when you’re not doing theatre/film?

Writing a little, trying to travel more, hanging out with family and friends, watching movies, running and military training.

  • If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

That’s an interesting one, not something I’ve thought about… maybe Chiwetel Ejiofor or a young Billy Dee Williams.