Today I’m welcoming actor, writer and singer, Dave Buzzotta. Thanks, Dave for stopping by!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Buzz (what his friends call him): Well, I’m a triple Aquarius, so for the most part, I go with the flow. Now, I’m always pursuing some artistic endeavor, and though the bulk of my work is in the theatre, and on camera stuff, of course, but I’m at my best as an artist when I’m also working on music. And I’m putting a new project together. Growing player by player. Free flowing jams we record and take home and work on our own perspective jobs and bring it in. Plus, I have some original songs of my own that I’ve worked on since my former band crashed just when we were releasing our EP at The Viper Room. And I also enjoy hiking up Runyon Canyon, gigs, museums, dogs AND cats and putting my headphones on to a little Pink Floyd.
What made you want to be an actor?
Buzz: Truthfully, a few little gems mesmerized me quite young and felt like they literally became the strength of my young, growing bones. I remember seeing a scene my mother was watching on American Playhouse or something. It was James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in Fences. I didn’t quite understand it, but I knew it was me. I also remember walking from the kitchen, and on my way to the bedroom, I was paused by Alfre Woodard’s Hill Street Blues episode where the cop shot her boy. I was chilled. I think it was in reruns, but I was quite young and can still see them both. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that probably what solidified it was Star Wars. I was a little drawer and painter very young before I understood what acting was. So everyone thought I’d go in that direction. And I still do, but after seeing the film, I sat right down and drew all the characters and memorized the album my mother bought me of the actual dialogue of the whole movie. I memorized and mimicked every character, sound and death and performed it for my family who felt I might need special help. I started as a kid starting with print and commercials. As a teenager, I did a Dayrunner ad with Jessica Alba. So funny what 20 years in the business throws your way. As a child I was cast as Snoopy in a New York production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “The Babysitter’s Club, as a boy sitter. Fun then. Embarrassing now, also a Broadway production, a couple off-Broadway stints, a cabaret show, a punk band while studying with Sanford Meisner as his youngest student. That’s where I learned how to act. So many a-ha moments and it gave me a technique that I’ve made my own. New York did me well. And whenever I’m not working, I’m in class to keep the muscles toned.
You’ve played roles in the films Last Resort, She’s All That and Prophecy 3: The Ascent. What are some of your other onscreen accomplishments?
Buzz: I’ve always liked the indie scene, so my most fulfilling projects are usually gritty roles like: Fuel, where I played the lead character, based on a real heroin addicted genius who, developed a magnetic engine (which took the highest honor in the Lisbon Film Festival and did well on the indie circuit with Al Gore as a producer), If Tomorrow Comes where my role as a teenage porn actor gave me quite an education in the Los Angeles sex working industry (with James Franco as my best friend) and two action films shot last year: Wolfmother and Water. I also did a short where I played an 80s rockstar called Jon and the Wolf that was a hell of a lot of fun. We even made a cheesy video for the film called “Feeding Frenzy.” And She’s All That was a hell of a lot of fun.
You’re also a singer. Tell us about your band.
Buzz: I had to take some time off, but at the moment, I’m playing with an amazing guitar player and talking about what we want to do. Then we’ll approach the guys we want and continue writing while we start playing out in LA. I’d also like to use my previous band’s EP for a web series I’ve nearly completed.
Do you have any current and/or upcoming projects you’d like to share with everyone?
Buzz: In addition to Water and Wolfmother, I have an offer I’m considering and I’m shopping two television series, an action drama called Stage and a children’s animation series starring a cat called Geep. Being a member of a few theatre companies, I am always interested in doing a great play when I’m not shooting or developing something. I have to do at least one play a year or I feel like I’m starving. I was nominated for an Ovation Award last year (the closest event to the Tony’s in LA) which validated my fears of coming back to my career. I’m very excited about ARULA (Artists Rise Up Los Angeles), a theatre company formed the day after the election. In order to do our part in our way as a faction of the tremendous anti-White House agenda. Our first production, E Pluribus Unum (Out of One, Many) performed to a sold out crowd with rave reviews, spawned a New York chapter and a follow up production, Transparency, Taxes & Tweets April 17 & 18 at Atwater Village Theatre.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of your career?
Buzz: The energy of performing live, whether the theatre or music. It’s always emotional for me which is what I think attracted me to performing in the first place. I remember my mother telling me at a young age when I was upset. She said, “It’s ok my love, you just feel things more than most people do.” Though acting and singing and shaken’ it are distinctively different, there is that rush of feeling the audience and feeling them feel you and I approach them the same way. Not much different than a roided out tennis match, feeding off each other and connecting on a more spiritual level than every day human contact.
At the end of a busy day, how does Dave Buzzotta unwind?
Buzz: Well, if I’m staying in, I get straight into my fleece pjs, pet the cat or dog while watching msnbc, eat and then write.
How can fans follow your work and find out about updates?
Buzz: I can be followed or reached on FB and Twitter, as I do post my projects. My website was badly hacked and will be up again soon at: Dave Buzzotta.com. I may not be prompt, but I always get back to my peeps.
Any words of wisdom you care to share?
Buzz: I would never say I have much wisdom to offer, however, I think we all should pursue art and creativity in our lives. Not necessarily as a career, but as a way to appreciate the beauty and freedom we do have, especially in the midst of what is going on in the world. And if you’re an aspiring actor, I’d say first buy a copy of Sanford Meisner’s book, On Acting. See what you think, find a great teacher and do the two year technique. And go where the work is or make it yourself. Thank you, Sheila for this opportunity.