First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who
don't already know you?
Well, first, I would like to thank you
Michael for allowing me to be a featured guest for this interview.
Honestly I cannot thank you enough.
But for those who may not know me or
have not seen my work, my name is Dominique Spencer and I am a 23 year old
African American SAG/AFTRA eligible male actor from Baltimore, MD. I have
been acting for five years and I have traveled from Baltimore, MD to as
far as New York, NY in pursuit of bettering my craft. I have been blessed
to have acted in a major motion picture (Step Up 2: The Streets), Cable
Network Television Series (The Wire), and in numerous amounts of
Independent films within the DMV (D.C, Maryland, Virginia) film market.
Driven, Confident, Humble, and Focused are just a few adjectives that one
could use to describe my character in regards to acting in film and
What can you tell us about your
upcoming movie Thug Life: All
in the Game, and your character in it?
Thug Life: All in the Game is an Urban
Crime Thriller directed by Gary Ugarek [Gary
Ugarek interview - click here]
about an East Baltimore kingpin
"Ontario Banks" played by Nelson Irizarry, who aspires to take
over the enitre city-wide drug trade. To do this he enlists his closest
friends: Lucky (played by Micaiah Jones), Vince (played by Chris
Clanton), and Littles (played by Kelvin Page) to take over the city one
block at a time no matter the costs, even if it means losing one of his
own. All in the Game delivers strong performances from its cast of
characters, the film is filled with intense action (in some cases
horrific), the dialogue is written very well, and the soundtrack,
combined with how inner-city Baltimore was captured throughout the film.
really sets the tone for a gritty and "real" Urban Thriller. All in the Game
has had 2 premieres: One in Washington, D.C at the ARC
Theater, and another in Baltimore, MD at the Landmark Theater. The film
has been selected to and screened at a number of festivals including:
The R.I.F.E (Reel Independent Film Extravaganza - 2011), Pittsburgh Film
Festival (2012), and the Fright Night and Fandom Festival (2012). Has
received a number of reviews, all positive in regards to the film.
Winner of "Best Action" film at the 3rd annual WMIFF (World
Music Independent Film Festival) awards. The film will be released on DVD October
The character I play in the film is named
Roland but goes by his street name "Flash". Flash is a local
cornerboy who obtained his name in the streets by the way he flaunts his
jewelry, and his overall dress. When I say "overall dress" I
mean that he dresses very loudly, and when I say loudly, I mean in a way
to draw attention to himself. Wearing the latest fashions, bright
colors, and expensive jewelry. In his mind he is attempting to bring
positive attention to himself, whether it's from the ladies, or from his
fellow cornerboys or drugdealers who are out on the blocks hustling just
like he is. Making an example of himself to say that, if I can get all
this money to spend on jewelry, clothes, etc then you can do it too.
Unfortunately for Flash, his idea of being loud, and drawing attention
to himself doesn't sit well with Ontario, and when they cross paths due
to Ontario's beliefs, Flash is therefore made an example of not just in
front of the local cornerboys (some of who he was trying to impress), but
in front of Ontario's crew as well. Thus causing Flash to rethink how he
has previously carried himself amongst his peers in the streets. Even
causing an impact on Ontario's crew as well due to Flash's behavior.
you get involved with the movie in the first place, and what can you tell
us about working with the film's director Gary Ugarek [Gary
Ugarek interview - click here]?
I first was introduced to All in the Game
actor and good friend Micaiah Jones, who I previously met on the set for
another film we were both cast in. Micaiah plays the role of
"Lucky" in All in the Game. The film was already undergoing
principal photography when I became aware of the production and I saw
Cai share news via Facebook that the film was looking to fill the role
of "Flash", a young energetic male. That's what I can remember
for the most part, haha. Right when I saw it (the status update) I
immediately inboxed Micaiah and told him "I'm ready, I want
in!" He got back to me and long story short, later that day I
received a phone call from the director himself, Gary Ugarek, and we were
discussing the role, location, the story and so forth!
Working with Gary on the set for All in the Game
was fantastic and very beneficial to my growth as an actor in film (thank you for that experience Gary). I remember arriving to set and
being on the outside you know. You're the new guy on set; the other actors
wanna see if you can pull off the role, if you fit in well with the rest
of the cast/crew who've been together for maybe a week(s) or so, and if
you take the role seriously. When I got there I think Gary was just
cooling out at the bar, but we spoke and exchanged a few words, and from
that exchange I could tell that he was more than comfortable in the
decision he made in regards of casting me (just a hunch). Thats all I
needed as an actor, that being the confidence from my director to
deliver. So me being the outsider was fine at the moment, lol. Gary gave
all of his actor's their creative space in regards to how they wanted to
deliver lines, physical actions regarding your character and so forth.
He wasn't one of those directors that were like "you have to stand
here and deliver your line LIKE THIS", or what did you just say? You
can't adlib! Gary was all for self input, but when he felt the need to
give direction it was given, and that made it easier for me to play my
role. And when I was given direction by Gary, I adjusted and it played
out very well on screen. Now there were plenty of jokes being thrown
around on set! In between takes, breaking down the shot, and setting up
for the next shot. I am not gonna lie, it was time when I was the butt
of the jokes, but everyone was getting clowned for one thing or another.
I know for me it was how I pronounced a word in one of my lines
"respecting", Nelson for one of his lines, and our directors
of photographers, Habib, for just looking like he wanted to blow things
up, and Sean for looking like a turtle! Haha!
But no matter what the
atmosphere was like, when it was time to get back into filming Gary made
sure that our time was not wasted and that it was back to business! Gary
is first class in his work ethic and it showed on set and once the film
was finished. I must have told him a thousand times how grateful I was
for the opportunity that he had given me. And I am telling him again now
"Thank you Gary Ugarek for this amazing opportunity!"
You are also
attached to the upcoming horror comedy Girl Trouble - anything you
can tell us about that one yet?
course! Filmmaker Wade Brown's [Wade
Brown interview - click here] independent feature length Horror-Comedy
film Girl Trouble is about two friends, Daxter
and Ray, who are worried about their pal Eddie and his controlling
girlfriend. The girlfriend crosses paths with a voodoo witch doctor and
all hell breaks loose in the town. Blood, gore and voodoo curses; Eddie
has more to worry about than girl troubles. That is the synopsis of the
film. In the words of director Wade Brown "it's
hard to sum this movie up, very unique and wily film but I can say I was
highly influenced by movies like Mallrats and Evil
Dead." The film
has an incredible cast attached. In the film I will be
playing the role of "Ray McCoy" - out of the three friends, he is
the middle man. Never picking a side when Daxter (played by Scott Yokum)
and Eddie (played by Charlie Dreizen) are arguing or in a heated debate.
Just being Ray and trying to bring both to a state of agreement. But it'll
come a day when even Ray will have to pick a side.
film is slated to begin filming this fall, and if you would like to find
out more information regarding production updates, photos of the
cast/crew, and behind the scenes photos when the film gets rolling, check
out the films official Facebook page a:
The film's indiegogo film page is up as well! PLEASE visit it at
Here is where if you like you can donate to help the film be produced.
You can watch a video from our director pitching the film, and get
acquainted with him and view some of his work. Also, you can see the perks
you can acquire
from your donations. For instance, if you donate 5 dollars to the film's indiegogo campaign you will receive a public thank you video on the film's
Facebook page, if you donate 25 dollars, you'll receive a signed copy of
the DVD w/ making of the documentary and more! You can even die in the
film, how cool is that?! The more money you donate, the more perks you are
eligible for. SO please, if you can, donate to this incredible film! If not
then please help spread the word.
Speaking of horror
comedies: What can you tell us about Fang and your character in it?
is an independent feature length Horror-Comedy filmed in Glen Burnie, MD
by filmmaker Jonathan Boushell about three friends - Barry (played by Kyle
Watson), Chuck (played by Charlie Dreizen), and Pete (played by myself) - who break into their neighbors' house to investigate their suspicious
behavior. By doing so they unknowingly unleash a horror upon their town
that none of them could have ever imagined or have prepared for. In the
film I play the role of Pete. Out of the three friends I would say Pete is
the more cautious one. Pete tends to think about the "what ifs"
that could happen, and so forth. But at the end of the day, Pete wants
nothing more than to be with his friends. So all and any of his previous
thoughts go right out the window. Pete at the beginning is not at all
supportive of Barry's genious idea to break into his neighbor's home. But
with persuasion from both Chuck and Barry, Pete does what he always does,
he submits to the peer pressure and joins in the festivities. Even tho it
starts off nerve wrecking, thru the film Pete does begin to enjoy this
exploration of sorts. And finds out about himself that maybe ... just maybe he
shouldn't always join in on his friends' ideas ... NOT haha! The film
premiered December 2011 in MD and is being sent into festivals as we
speak! You can check out the premise for the film at it's Official
Facebook page at Fang
- Official Facebook Page. Fang
is also on IMDB at Fang
- Official IMDB Page, where
you can see the cast/crew list, and more!
True Evil Never Dies is another film of yours that sounds quite
interesting. So what can you tell us about that one?
course! SoulMate: True Evil Never Dies is an Independent feature length
Horror film directed by filmmaker Shawn Anthony. The film is about a
pyschic named Katie, who is brought into a police investigation to help
track down history's most notorious killer (Jack the Ripper) who has
returned, and is picking up where he left off, murdering the innocent.
Will she along with the police stop Jack in his tracks or will Jack
continue his vicious cycle of murders? The film is screening at the 3rd
annual WMIFF (World
Music and Independent Film Festival) at
the U.S. Navy Memorial Theater (Burke Theater) THURSDAY, AUGUST 23RD at
8:45pm PM. 701 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20004. It has
been nominated in 8 categories out of 9 including Best Director, Best
Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and more! In the
film I play the role of "Jim" a troubled young man who is
attending therapy for his problems. The film would take home awards in the
following categories: Best Cinematographer, Best Actress, Best Supporting
Actress, and Best New Director. Its not one of my larger roles, but I
really enjoyed being on set with some of my fellow actors - some of which I
still speak to on occasion, working with Shawn and taking his direction,
and just having the opportunity to do what I love. You can see the film's
trailer below and I am sure you will enjoy it!
True Evil Never Dies Official Trailer
sure there are quite a few more movies of yours you'd like to talk about -
so please do!
know me too well bro! There are 2 films that I would like speak on and a
webseries that I am cast in as well. Those films are Robbie Soto's feature
length Drama Reminisce and Anthony Harper's SAG drama short
film Jump. And lastly is Aaron C. Smith's brand new drama
webseries Rebels and Rejects. I will start with Robbie Soto's Reminisce
Soto's feature Drama film Reminisce is
a story of an old man reliving his past through a bedtime story for his
grandchildren. The story takes his grandchildren on a journey of how his
grandparents met and fell in love. As the story comes to life its powerful
message will keep you at the edge of your seats and bring tears to your
eyes. In the film I will be playing the lead role of "Mark".
Mark is Mike's best friend. A senior in highschool, plays football, and is
an average student. But most importantly, whenever Mike is in a situation
in which he can not get himself out of you can always count on Mark to be
right by his side. The film is currently in the pre-production stages, and
will enter principal photography mid September! I am very excited to have
been cast in this production. From the cast and crew that has been
assembled, man its gonna be a hell of a film and I can not wait for
everyone to see it!
you would like to find out more info and updates on the film regarding
production, checking out the cast/crew that has been assembled, behind the
scenes, and more visit the film's official Facebook page at:
- Official Facebook Page.
up we have Anthony Harper's SAG Drama short film Jump. I can
not say too much about this one except for the following: Tthe film has an
incredible cast/crew including director Anthony Harper, Gordon Timothy,
Antoinette Green-Fisher, Caleb Jackson, Courtney Ferguson, myself, and
more. The film was shot in Annapolis, MD. It is currently in
post-production, and the film has no release date at the moment. In the
film I play the role of "Pierre". He's a straight-laced kid,
very intelligent. But his best friend, is who he worries about, and that's
because he's in a dysfunctional family. Stills from the film can be seen
we have Aaron C. Smith's brand new drama webseries Rebels and
Rejects. Rebels and Rejects is a web series that focuses on the
lives of 6 friends and their transition from high school seniors to
college students. During their journey, they will discover who they are,
what they love, and what they hate. Every destiny intertwined, but not
every person will accept who or what they may be tied to ... Each teenager
has personal issues they battle such as abuse, drugs, orientation,
issues, etc ... and they have to learn to accept their personal battles and
overcome them to reach their dreams. The series is primarily filmed in
various parts of MD with episodes ranging between 7-12 minutes in length.
In the series I will be playing the role of "Joseph Stragg".
Joseph Stragg is a very accomplished individual as far as his accolades
are concerned in college. Not only that he is manipulative, deceptive, but
also very aware of those who can benefit his progress as well as those who
can hinder him. He is very confident in his abilities to succeed and has a
"I'll do anything to get what I want attitude". Joseph himself
has own inner demons, now will they come back to haunt him? ... you'll have
to watch the series and find out.
can watch Episode 4 here (which is the episode in which my character is
4 "Mainfest Destiny": Season 1 "Rebels and Rejects"
first season of Rebels and Rejects contains 6 episodes.
Episodes 1-4 are now available for viewing at the series' YouTube page at
and Rejects - Official Youtube Channel. With
only 2 episodes left the first season is coming to a close. But we are
extremely excited for Season 2! The first season was filmed in various
parts of Maryland but for Season 2 we are upping the ante! Were upgrading
our equipment, longer episodes, filming in different locations, more
behind the scenes footage, more ways the viewers can stay in tune with the
series while Season 2 is being filmed, we're looking into more platforms
for viewers to tune into the series and much much more! All I'ma say is
stay tuned and get ready for a hell of a ride!
Any future projects you'd like to share?
the current moment I actually do not have any future projects to share
with you, BUT I am sure that'll change after this interview is finalized,
haha. Isn't that how things always work.
can you tell us about SharkNation?
wow! Well, SharkNation is an allegiance of actors (at the moment we have
10 members within the group, there names are: Gray Ellis, Robert Mason,
Kelvin "Drama" Page, Charlie Dreizen, Kodairo Campbell, Patricia
Renderos, Marlena Neal, Chanel Narcissus, and Nichole Chimere) who thru
the ups and downs of the film/television industry provide one another with
the support to continue striving for excellence. The group was established
in 2010 (I think, ha!) by myself and Gray Ellis. The intent of this group was
to just provide ourselves with a solid foundation going forth in our
careers in film/television, being a tool for one another in so many words. But what I did not count on was the fact that I would end
up looking up to these actors ... no, these friends of mine as motivators
who would provide me with inspiration. And not just that but family as
well. I have grown close to each and every one of them and I can honestly
say that there have been moments where I thought about quitting, but I'd
call one of them, talk to them about the craft, and that thought (of
quitting) would just go away, or I would just look on Facebook and I would
see that one of them just landed another project! And that alone is
motivation for me to trust in this struggle of mine - "When one wins
we all win"! And it feels great every single time, because we tend to
win alot, whether its on the small or large scale. Not everyone sees things
as I do but they seem to, and to have all 9 of them in my corner is
really a blessing and I love every one of them.
Let's go back
to the beginnings of your career: What got you into acting in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
that was a mighty long time ago, man! Well I liked movies and such, but
what got me into acting was honestly a lot of my friends in school were
doing it in so I wanted to be with my friends. That was one reason. But
the main reason was because I could remember going to see these plays and
just enjoying seeing the actors just blow me away with their talent on
stage in front of so many people. I remember telling myself that as soon
as I had the opportunity to audition for the school play that I would. And
that I did. As far as training, at that time, I did not have any training,
and thinking back to that time in my career I sure could have used it,
read that your first appearance in a movie was as a featured extra in Step
Up 2: The Streets - now what can you tell us about that experience?
are correct sir! My first appearance in a film was indeed the major motion
picture Step Up 2: The Streets. There is SO MUCH I could tell
you about my experience working on the set of Step Up 2. Well, for
starters, it was an experience of a lifetime! I was on set for 2 months
and the knowledge that I garnered just from being "there" was
invaluable. From hearing all of the different terms that were being used
amongst the cast/crew, witnessing how a professional set was conducted,
and learning how to network. I said learning how to network simply
because networking is a very pivotal tool in this business. If done
correctly your life can literally change in a matter of minutes, I know,
I've heard and seen it happen! Meeting so many people from various
backgrounds and ethnicities; whether they were dancers, actors, directors,
producers, cameramen, or maybe they had no intentions on being involved in
film at all but were just there for ride. Not to mention I met some really
cool people while I was on set. Gotta give a special shout out to
"V" aka Victoria Lynn Umbarger, who I met on set and she's been
supportive of my career ever since! And just the smiles that I left with
every single day coming to and leaving from set. There was not one day
where I did not want to go to work. I didn't even think of it as work,
hell I even forgot that I was getting paid. That's when I knew that I
wanted to pursue a career in film/television. So from that experience I
had one of the best summers of my life with no regrets, and having the
opportunity to be surrounded by wonderful people along with professionals
in my craft, I could not have asked for more.
do you think you have evolved as an actor over the years, and how do you
generally approach your characters?
That is the million
dollar question. I would say that I have grown to better understand the
craft, to go off the page from what is written, and really implement
myself into the character. Really going that extra mile. Whether that is
building the backstory for my character, breaking down the dialogue line
by line therefore streghening my understanding of the text, and going
out and seeking additional help in regards to my preparation. I am a
very prideful young man, but I had to really check myself and leave that
at the door because in this business you can not expect to elevate your
performance or your status amongst your peers alone. You will always
need someone, hell you really need a team behind you truth be told.
Which is why I started going to workshops, along with receiving coaching
within the DMV region, in particular Actor's Club located in
Baltimore, MD at Studio BOH. Being challenged every week by
professionals in the industry is a blessing and a privilege. And to have
people who want to see you grow, who want you to be successful, and who
want you to enjoy acting, what more can one ask for?! The workshop is
ran by SAG/AFTRA actors Ken Arnold and Dan Franko, both of whom have been
an extremely large part of my overall development as an actor in many
regards(I love you guys).
generally approach my characters with a clear and an open mind whenever
I am cast for a role. After I am cast then I take what I already know
about the character, then I'll approach the director to see if they have
written a backstory for that particular character. Once that part of the
process is discussed, then I throw implements of myself in the mix, make
it her own and BOOM! Magic is made! The rest after that is history.
Actors (or indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
that inspire me are: Will Smith and Denzel Washington.
Your favourite movies?
Sugar, not based on overall acceptance or box office revenue, but I really
liked the chemistry between the two leads "Tay Diggs" and
"Sanaa Lathan", the whole cast in general to me was excellent!
City of God was a really real film to me. Its by far my
favorite International film. City of God is the type of film
that makes you appreciate the value of cinema. Just amazing!
Dark Knight. That film really changed the mood/expectations for a
of films (especially superhero) that are coming out. So much talent in one
film ... it really showed the lengths that some actors can go to reach
brilliance. Watching Heath Ledger really just go to another universe in
his portrayal of the Joker really showed me (1) that's where I should want
to be every time I perform, in regards to how spectacular he was, but also
(2) never allow myself to become lost in my character. To always have that
divide between reality, and the film.
and of course, films you really deplore?
wouldn't say I deplore any films... except ones that are not made with a
true passion. Films that are made just because numbers can be generated.
Those are films that I deplore.
Facebook, whatever else?
anyone who would like to reach me, directors, casting directors,
producers, agents, managers, etc please visit the following at:
Facebook Fan Page for Dominique Spencer
Profile for Dominique Spencer
Access Resume for Dominique Spencer
of Actor Dominique Spencer
visit the following social networks - I can be contacted at these links
page for Dominique Spencer
Twitter page for
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
watch Barry Worthington's Award winning short drama film KIN.
The film has garnered the following accolades: KIN,
WINNER, The Accolade Film Competition 2011, KIN, Showcased at the 2011
Lucerne International Film Festival, and KIN, FINALIST, 2012 Nashville
Film Festival. Even tho this film has completed its festival
run, the film is fucking dope, and I learned so much from Barry and the
other actors alongside me. Not to mention we've become good friends since.
In the film I play the role of 3-4. Enjoy
- Full Film.
as this interview is coming to a close, I would first like to thank you
for this interview. It has been a blessing and I can not thank you enough
for this opportunity. I want to say thank you to all of my supporters. For
one to succeed in this industry someone has to believe in you and I have
been blessed to garner that belief. I would like to thank my
coach/instructor/and good friend Ken Arnold who has believed
in me since the first day I stepped into his classroom. An incredible
talent who continues to reach new heights in his career, and pass on the
knowledge that he learns onto myself. For that I am in his debt. My
instructors/good friends Dan Franko and Kevin Jiggetts who also believe in my abilities as an actor, have opended
their arms, and who have taught me what it is to be a true professional
along with Ken. And my friends and family who hold my best interest at
heart, have given support to my career, and will always be honest in
regards to acting, and life in general. Thank you so much Michael! Thank