pARTicipate Q&A with Rico Suarez:

  1. Can you distill what it is that you love about film or television acting and modeling particularly – over other types of performance such as theatre?
    • Are there aspects of the craft of acting that are different in front of a camera than when performing for a live audience? 
    • The whole process of working with a team during the performance. Receiving direction, correction, critique, opinion, perspective, etc., all throughout the craft of acting, film and modeling rather than a live audience where NOTHING can go wrong. It is very challenging to perform in a live audience and I love that. However, I really enjoy the creative process during a performance and allowing others to instill their unique ideals, allowing me to perfect my craft. I have performed in front of a live audience before and it’s still fulfilling, but having a whole team during the process just flows much more easily.
  1. Film and television can involve an enormously lengthy creative process, with months or even years passing between coming on board via auditions and the premiere of the piece. What’s that like emotionally as a performer – investing heavily in something and then having to wait?
    •  That’s the beauty of it. The process. I love it. All of it. It would once affect me mentally and emotionally in the beginning. However, once I gained control of my mind, I never allowed that whole process to take a toll on my body, mind and spirit. Now, I give it my all and don’t expect anything in return. If I can receive recognition and impact others with my work, amazing. If that doesn’t happen, I am not going to cry or let it defeat me. I have other projects I fully commit to because I won’t just sit on one thing I did and hope it works out. I no longer wait for work, acceptance or anything of that matter. In the beginning, I feel everyone does that and allows it to affect them tremendously. Eventually, as you grow, you’ll learn to continue to persevere through it all.
  1. How important is a message for you in terms of the types of stories you prefer to get involved with? Are you part activist (and if so, for what causes), do you want something that primarily presses artistic buttons, or is it a matter of simply working first and foremost? (Perhaps it’s a mixture of all three…).
    • It is the root for everything that I do. Everything in life begins with a vision. Then, the telling of a story. Everyone is story telling in their own lives, whether they are conscious of it or not. Some become aware of that and then add more creativity to telling their story. For example, a normal person who is living their lives goes through an array of difficulties and satisfactions. That is a story that is being told as you live it and speak it. Those that become conscious of that, then go on and use creative outlets to extend their story telling to the world for others to become aware like them. I am an activist, yes. I care about each and every cause. Therefore, most of the time I base my decisions on if I can awaken others by telling a story that aligns with a cause. Minorities, gangs, hate speech, suicide, etc., are only some of the many causes that really gets under my skin.
  1. What do you need from a director? Conversely, what won’t you put up with from a director?
    • What I need from a director is full transparency. No matter how great of a personal connection we have or how introvert or hesitant they are to share their opinion on a scene or the way I interpret it. I’ve come across a few directors that enjoy thinking and creating in their mind, but won’t say much out loud. I enjoy collaboration. I thrive on the sharing of ideas that in return generates more ideas and also the direction while adding my own style to it of course. It’s all a collaborative process, while some directors like to fully control the scene, it’s best to share perspectives to create something magical. It’s not necessarily something I won’t put up with because at the end of the day, as an actor, I am being hired to bring to life the vision of the director and producer, but I’d prefer a more collaborative work field. I wouldn’t put up with abusing the power of directing. It is directing, not dictating. Most aren’t that way which is great, but it does make it difficult to complete a job when people are not on the same page. I would never sacrifice my time being unpleasant for a paycheck.
  1. Does the way a film or show is distributed make a difference to you – the impact of the big screen and epic sound in a cinema versus a film or series being watched on a laptop or phone? Please answer as both a performer and a fan.
    • As a performer, I love the work itself. It doesn’t matter to me how my work gets distributed as long as it is being seen and impacts many. That’s when you know that you truly love what you do. When you can be okay with certain things like how it gets distributed, negative reviews, etc., knowing that you’ve given it your all and working on the next project, everything in your life will progress mentally, physically and spiritually. As a fan, it’s pretty cool to watch it on the big screen and the epic sound as well, but I don’t feel it has any difference in the impact the actual film or series makes. I say this because I am conscious of how tv and film gets made and put myself in the character’s shoes, director’s shoes, and so on. A regular person however, might perceive the big screen to be more impactful, but that is because they simply aren’t aware of things.
  1. You’ve appeared on Penny Dreadful and Ballers in addition to several fashion campaigns, commercials, etc. Please chat a little about your experience working on these sets in the past. What projects have you been on? How was your experience working on those sets?
    • Amazing experience! It is a stepping stone to where I am going in my career. Working with these big names in the entertainment industry only strengthens my skills and confidence as well. Being in a massive production opens my eyes to more. More, more, more. That’s what we thrive on as a society. I perceive it as more opportunities to learn and progress rather than the ego side of things. The commercials and fashion campaigns are so much fun. I don’t even consider it work. I meet so many different people and again learn from all these creative teams trying to share unique and powerful messages. It is such a beautiful experience.
  1. Tell us about your new book Know YOUR Norms and why you decided to self-publish this book?
    • This book is written with the view of society, and social norms that are followed in the world we live in today, which deems one to be a defined ‘normal’ human being. I incorporate my personal life experiences along with the social norms and deviances to substantiate the arguments proposed in each chapter. This book aims for the readers to really become aware of society and how it lands a person to act in a certain way, limiting their creativity and exposure. The reader must feel a paradigm shift from what they believed to be right all their life is not what they had chosen, but what was imposed onto them without their realization. This book will relieve the world of averageness. It will make the world aware of the simulation that they go through daily so that everyone can break free from the paradigm shift and practice it every day in their lives. I decided to self-publish this book mainly because I enjoy having complete creative control of my work. I also have to work twice as much to get my book to as many hands as I can, which means I am invested in my book and its message, rather than not lifting a finger and having no control over anything in the process.

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