We had the pleasure of interviewing the humblest Actor to contribute to our cause. Meet Stuart Mast, a wonderful thespian with a candid message for the Actors to be.

What made you decide to become an Actor?

It was the wonderful impact film had on me when I was young. The movies that especially touched me was anything that Jim Carrey touched. I loved his physicality, commitment to the art and he simply made me laugh and offered a beautiful escape from reality. Other important films for me were Dead Poet’s Society and Good Will Hunting. Those movies hit me hard at the right time in my life. I was in my early 20’s trying to figure out what I wanted in life, I wanted to be that instrument for others the way those characters and stories were for me. I felt like I could relate to characters on what they were going through and how they acted and reacted. Film has been a therapy for me whether I’m acting in a movie or play or just watching.

Other storytellers that I admire are the Duplass brothers and Joe Swanberg. I love how they make stories happen on a small budget and focus on relationships in different ways. Their movies are some of my favorite and would love to work with them in the future. There is a simplicity in storytelling that they nail on the head.

Also, another aspect that helped me decide to be an actor was my general attitude toward life. I look at life as a story with ups and downs with laughs and heartbreaks. I also felt that if I only have one life, why not spend it telling stories and striving my whole life to do that? A 9 to 5 has never made sense to me and never fulfilled me the way acting and storytelling has. There is a peace that I have now that I don’t want to live without.

How do you feel about the entertainment industry now, as opposed to before, pertaining to ethnic and sexual diversity?

I think it’s wonderful how much we are moving forward! I’m grateful that all of my projects whether they have been on stage or on the screen have always been very universal and diverse. It’s a blessing for sure. 

I remember when I was studying acting in college, the best actors and creators were always the women in the class. They raised the level of acting by always giving everything and challenging me to do the same and made me a better actor in the end.

In relation to ethnicity, I have always seen it as a human story. It doesn't matter race or color. We all bleed red. We all hurt. We all suffer. We all experience the joys of life and share a human heart. That’s what’s most important to me.

Are there upcoming projects you're working on? 

I am still relatively new to LA so I am proud that I have built up my resume and experience beforehand to hit the ground running when I arrived in California. I’ve spent a few years in New England doing comedy shorts and a few years in Chicago working on their TV shows. I also spent some time in Kansas City to focus more on theatre and their independent film scene.

Here in LA, I just finished acting in a few music videos for some great artists and currently in production for a short film at the end of August. Also, during the summer I will be in NYC for a feature. I’m very happy to be so busy. 

What advice would you give aspiring Actors that hope to be in your shoes someday?

I’m very humbled by the question because I still feel that I am in the trenches just like the rest of the other aspiring actors. Sure, there has been some success and I’m very happy having the freedom to do what I love but in the end, it’s important for me to never settle and feel like I’ve ever “made it”. I always want to stay hungry.

The biggest thing in my experience is...TAKE THE JUMP! You will never regret giving everything to do what you love. The universe will help you! Books that have helped me in this mindset is The Little Prince and The Alchemist. Obviously, this attitude isn’t something a book can give you. It needs to come from within first. That’s why another big thing for me is confidence. There’s something special that only you can bring to acting, so be confident in that! You have a story that only you can tell. So go out and tell it! The world is yearning to hear it.

Also, remain grateful through the good times and bad. And finally, never, never give up!