Kevin Pollak is an actor and comedian based in Los Angeles, CA. He recently joined the social networking site Twitter and has begun to utilise both it, and YouTube as a means of connecting with his audience. In this exclusive chat for Acting-Blog.com with Philip Larkin (no, not THEE Philip Larkin) Kevin Pollak talks about acting, twitter and his television shows.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: Kevin Pollak, most of us know you from your acting roles in films such as Willow, Wayne’s World and The Usual Suspects – although you were originally a standup comedian, from a very early age and still are for that matter – but Why did you decide to become an actor? How did that happen?
KEVIN POLLAK: I decided to become an actor at the age of six or seven, actually. I used to exit the theater, after having just watched a film, and proceed to act as whatever character from the film I enjoyed the most. I would be that character for several days after. Although my mom would laugh, it went usually from cute to annoying in under 24 hours.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: What’s the best advice you could give to actors?
KEVIN POLLAK: Just be prepared to give your life to it. If the rejection doesn’t destroy your will to live, it’s a lifelong commitment. And not to go Yoda on you, but it’s important to try to learn from the journey, and not be so focused on the destination.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: Just very recently, you have began ‘tweeting’ on Twitter and using your YouTube Channel to post videos. Just what or who exactly prompted you to join these sites?
KEVIN POLLAK: A pal, Jason Calacanis (Mahalo.com), introduced me to Twitter by signing me on, and the next thing I knew I had followers! For anyone who suffers from “Hey, look at me” disease as badly as I do, this followers thing was just too good to pass up. Then, as I was doing on-going commentary on Twitter during the Oscar telecast, and ended up with a shit-ton of replies, all insisting I was making it the best Oscars they had ever watched, I was hooked for life. It was during that Twitter-a-thon that I met a fella’ named Jipsi who then brought me to the community of YouTube.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: Were you shocked at the vast number of followers that quickly evolved to what I now believe to be above 82, 000 people on Twitter?
KEVIN POLLAK: If you mean MY followers, then yes, I was completely shocked. As I write this, it’s at 131,000 and change, and two days ago I was on a radio show, and they looked it up and it was 120,000, so yeah, it’s ‘evolving’ at a shocking rate. If, on the other hand, you did NOT mean MY followers, then I have no idea what that 82,000 means.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: Does that huge following intimidate you at all?
KEVIN POLLAK: It makes me smile and giggle a little, actually. First of all, it’s ridiculous, and I can’t really take it tooooo seriously. It’s really kinda cool. I do feel a sense of responsibility but, really, just to keep up the flow of my tweets, and the juicy goodness, therein.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: I know that you’re filming a show for the history channel entitled, ‘What Every American Should Know’ – seemingly; a lot of your followers have become interested in this and anticipate it’s airdate – Does this prove how beneficial Twitter can be in gaining interest in your current projects?
KEVIN POLLAK: No doubt Twitter seems to be a potentially powerful marketing tool, but I really think those who choose to market themselves walk a thin line. I know for myself, I worry about crushing that delicate balance between answering all the ‘replies’ that ask what future projects of mine they can look for, and just whoring every single spec of work I’m tinkering with!
ACTING-BLOG.COM: In terms of resources such as writers, actors and designers -Do you think a medium such as YouTube or Twitter could ‘get the ball rolling’ for projects that you have considered in the past, that you just haven’t had time to unfold?
KEVIN POLLAK: There does appear to be a greater, sudden, interest coming from Twitter land in what someone such as myself is up to. Whether or not they will follow through with their alleged loyal following is yet to be seen. I believe they will. I hope they will, and it certainly is one of the main factors in my decision to do Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show, which will debut as a live streaming video talk show on Sunday, March 22nd, at 5pm, PST. I’ve mentioned that a lot, and people have responded hugely with their alleged interest. If it’s genuine, then we’ll do the show every Sunday at 5pm, PST. If not..
ACTING-BLOG.COM: Do you think that Twitter could prove a useful resource for finding new writing or acting talent?
KEVIN POLLAK: It could, certainly. That’s one of the things I’m curious about. That would be truly a wonderful aspect of Twitter land. No pressure, btw.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: Would you recommend that other artists join YouTube or Twitter? If so, What benefits do you think can arise from its use?
KEVIN POLLAK: I have recommended it to others and I believe several are already into to it. The benefits, as well as the possibilities are boundless, if you ask me. Oh. Wait. You just did, so yeah.
ACTING-BLOG.COM: Kevin Pollak, It has been a pleasure.
KEVIN POLLAK: You’re welcome- It’s my pleasure.
Kevin Pollak is an actor and comedian who regularly produces his own YouTube videos and starred alongside Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men.
Photograph by Mitchell Weinstock 2009