St. John's Confidential File
Chad Ratto: Actor Not To Be Underestimated
By Michael St John
Dec 5, 2012 - 7:52:04 AM
AMERICA!—Chad Ratto is
Dramatic Arts trained and proud of it. Obviously, he is ready and willing to confront any challenge he must face to prove himself. Speaking with him only intensifies our view that this generation of young artists are quite ready for any creative task given.
MSJ: Having grown up in northern
California, what kind of influences did you have in wanting to become a part of the entertainment industry?
CR: Growing up my parents would take my siblings and I to plays in
San Francisco, musicals mostly, but I loved the way that it felt just to be in a theater watching a show. I also watched TV a lot as a kid, and the actors always seemed like they were having so much fun. If you had a bad day and put on one of your favorite shows or movies, it could change your whole mood and perspective. I loved that movies or TV could do that and so I knew I had to become a part of that world.
MSJ: Who were some of the actors and musicians who affected your decision in becoming a performer, generally and why?
CR: Sean Penn was a big inspiration to me, and in my decision to pursue acting professionally. I watched his performance in "I Am Sam" and realized, that I too wanted to be able to bring such honest and powerful emotion to a film and affect an audience the way that he did. It wasn’t until then that I understood what a great actor could really do, and the importance of film and storytelling.
MSJ: Before coming to
Hollywood what was your concept of the place where people from all over the globe come to find success?
CR: I had a romanticized idea of it I think. I believed like many others that it was a glamorous place filled with movie stars and celebrities. I didn’t know how the industry worked or how professional actors made their way.
MSJ: So far, what has been the most difficult obstacle to overcome?
CR: For me the most difficult thing is how long it can take for things to really happen. I didn’t realize that it can take years before an actor gets a break that really moves their career forward.
MSJ: Have you been forced to change the way you approach things in order to be recognized?
CR: I think that if I’ve been forced to do anything, it’s just to stay prepared and stay focused. I think it’s easy to get distracted in
Hollywood, especially for young people. It’s important to know that everyday you have to take strides towards what you want, and I’ve been forced to do that, but it’s a good thing.
MSJ: What seems to be the most problematic issue when trying to get auditions or someone to give you a hearing as far as a job goes?
CR: The hardest thing is being fresh out of school, and not having many credits, especially in a film and TV town like
Hollywood. Everybody wants you to have credits before they hire you, but in order to get credits someone has to hire you. It’s kind of a catch-22 in that way.
MSJ: Have you changed very much since coming to
Hollywood, as far as your ambitions, view of your place as an artist?
CR: I’ve changed only in my growth as an actor and in my knowledge of what it takes to do truly great and honest work. I’ve learned that in acting, especially film acting we must not be afraid of being completely exposed emotionally. I still want the same thing, which is just to be an actor that consistently gets to work and do what they love.
MSJ: When you’re alone and look in the mirror what do you see?
CR: I see someone who wants so badly to work on a great film, with an amazing script, a great cast and a great director. If I can achieve that, even just once, it will have all been worth it.
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