Interview with 'Stay Quiet' actor - Jacob Pressley
How did you first break into the industry?
I come from a theater background originally and my first job in the industry was at 16. I was a busboy at a dinner theatre! But honestly I've only recently started to turn my attention exclusively to on camera work which feel like starting over in a new industry but I've met a lot of wonderful collaborative artists in the space and I look forward to continuing down this path.
Who/What inspires you as an actor?
Stories! I've always loved people-watching and everyone has such interesting stories to tell, usually they aren't even aware of it. When you go to a movie, or especially a play, you'll hear people say, "That actor was being so extreme, no one really talks like that," or "walks that way" or "would ever do that." Listen, with the people watching in NYC you better believe that nothing is too big for the camera or the stage. Real life is crazy and I love it. What was your best set moment on ’Stay Quiet’?
Two pretty distinct moments come to mind and oddly they both have to do with the egg timer. First was shooting the close-ups of the egg timer going off and me grabbing it. There is no way to cheat a timer so to film it ringing we set it for just 1 or 2 minutes so we weren't waiting 5 minutes for every shot. So for 2 full minutes all of the cast and crew is squeezed into a little kitchen for the quietest shot in film history listening to a timer tick tock. I'm waiting intently for it ring so that I can react and grab it as directed, everyone is basically holding their breath. Never was there so much focus and anticipation. And then when you see arrow on the timer is almost back to the top and should ring any second....... it just stops. No more ticking. No more moving. NO RINGING. Everyone broke out laughing and it took quite a while for everyone to recover before we could do another shot. The other moment was getting to stomp on and smash the timer. Always fun to get to break things. What sort of person is going to love this short?
Well, it is considered "horror." and I hear a lot of people say they found it really creepy, but its not a jump out and scare you knife slasher. I think its a wildly interesting story which leaves you with questions and wanting to know more. It has some unexpected twists and turns in just the short time. PLUS some catchy music! What's not to like? What advice would you give aspiring actors?
Two things: First - Study, study, study. Stay in classes or keep learning new skills on your own. But things that you're actually interested in! Whether it's magic tricks, horseback riding or accents. It's all marketable. And Second - Early on, do everything, say yes to everything. Even if you have a crystal clear image or your dream and a 25 year plan of your career, say yes to something else and try things. And if something else starts to take off you have to be ready to loosen your grip on the way YOU wanted things to go and take what is there waiting for you. Then at a later time (you'll know when) you can use your experience to start being choosy and only really pursue whatever makes you happy or is good for you at the time.