Being a Working Actor in Independent Film with Graham Sibley Image

Being a Working Actor in Independent Film with Graham Sibley

By Alan Ng | May 1, 2020

Actor Graham Sibley stars as the emotionally starved neighbor, Paul, who enters into an affair with Wendi McLendon-Covey’s Cathy in Debra Eisenstadt’s Blush (now on VOD). He also stars in the short film, Mirrored, feature film Poor Greg Drowning, and the online series, Dark/Web, now on Amazon Prime Video. I spoke with Graham about his journey of 20+ years as a working actor and his experience of appearing in 50 independent films during his first year out of Chapman University.

As an actor, how are you taking advantage of all this downtime? Are you able to make preparations to where you can hit the ground running when the green light is flashed?
Graham Sibley: Yeah, absolutely. My reps are still working for me, and I’ve had a good number of tapes to do. I just read for a project, and I don’t know if they’re going to get going in July, but that’s what the breakdown said.

I’m also writing with my wife, who’s a screenwriter. While our boys are napping, we’re pounding out a script that we’ve been working on for a long time. I was also able to host an interview the SAG Foundation with my friend Debra Eisenstadt, who directed Blush. Staying busy. Staying creative and busy and working with my mentor on a play called Red by John Logan. Have you heard of it?

I’ve been looking through the Broadway Channel and PBS, and I saw Red on there. I don’t know anything about it, though.
The play’s great. We’ve been working on it since November. Larry Moss is this sort of renowned acting coach. He’s kind of like the living Stella Adler today. and he coached my mentor, Garrett Brown, and I on it in his masterclass which teaches out here and in New York every year.

“People had heard that I was in the movie, and there’s that finite amount of time where you’re sort of ‘valuable’…”

It’s about painter Mark Rothko’s life before he committed suicide. And we decided to work on the play and put it up as a fundraiser towards the end of the year but things have changed a bit since all of this. We had been working on it all year, meeting every Thursday at a senior center over in Westchester, cause we had free rehearsal space over there. We were really enjoying our time working together so we decided to keep our Thursday rehearsals but now on FaceTime — running lines and stuff. So I’m staying busy, creatively.

I would imagine this is a good time to be doing independent film because you can hit the ground starting production a lot faster than the big studios can.
Yeah. It’s so true. I think the biggest part of these independent films now is just trying to find financing. You can only beg, borrow, and steal for so long. I mean, Bradford Hill, for example, directed Mirrored and he was working on financing for that film for five years or something, I mean, a long time before it was released.

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