I AM glad you landed here! In my efforts to keep folks connected, I wanted to create a place where you can get to know some of the people I know, in this industry, and beyond. Each month will feature an Artist who inspires and motivates me. What better way than to kick it off with the very man who brilliantly helped birth my website. I was able to catch up with Actor/Graphic Designer Arron Lloyd. Let's check out what he has to say...
Donny: Tell people where you're from and what you do. Arron Lloyd: Sure, uhh, my name is Arron Lloyd, I'm originally from Bridgeport, CT, [about} an hour outside of the city. Oldest of three, single-parent home, and all that jazz.
D: How long have you been acting? AL: [Professionally] that's been about seven years I'm going on. Seven years, but I've been acting since 3rd grade.
D: If you were not acting, what could you see yourself doing? AL: If I wasn't [acting], I wanted to be a musician. I started, kind of like you, I started with music. I wanted to be a trumpet player, actually, because my grandmother loved Louis Armstong. So I grew up listening to a lot of Satchmo, and Earth Wind & Fire and I wanted to impress my grandmama and mama, so I kinda did that. [Then] my music teacher cast me, one day, and it kind of went from there.
D: What are a couple of your favorite songs from Louis? AL: From Louis, maaan..."What A Wonderful World" is a good one.
"And for any role that I do, I pray..."
D: What does it mean to you to have the expression of Art, or the art of Expression? AL: It's everything. In terms of the Arts, coming from the inner-city, it was, uhh, it was kind of a refuge for me. It was a place of expression, a place of hope. A place of understanding myself, and also everything that was going on around me. Without the Arts, I'd probably be passionless. I'd probably be lost.
D: If not for the Arts, where do you see yourself, or where do you think you'd be? AL: In terms of what I would do, is that I'd probably be a Doctor. I wanted to always help people, you know. I wanted to, like, serve in some kind of way.
D: See, one of the beautiful things about what you do now is that now you can play a doctor on TV... AL:(laughs) Exactly, exactly. It all works out.
D: So, how long have you been in New York? AL: Four years. Four years in July.
D: Like it, love it, love to hate it, hate to love it? AL: I love it, man, my first year was kind of rough, kind of getting acclimated, or whatever. But I love it. I love it. There's a community here. Not just acting, but the Arts in general. And there's so many different characters here, you know what I mean, so much to draw from. Subway antics (chuckles).
D: Why New York, as opposed to, you know, everyone talks about LA, and even Atlanta is up and coming; so why New York, for you? AL: New York, for me, I think, number one, is familiarity. I grew up very close here, so me and my family would come to NY every now and then. Uh, so I'm an Eastcoast city boy. You know, eventually, I'll probably make my way to a different market, but everybody I know and love is here. Like I eluded to earlier, there's a bunch of- there's ballet here, there's music here, there's museums. There's people, just so much going on. I just love it. It's expensive, it's expensive as hell (laughs).
D: So in terms of acting, what is the furthest you've gone in [creating a character]? AL: Hmm, I'm not like crazy method that I'm gonna [be] like, "I am this character.' So I think just heavy research for me; just heavy, heavy research. And kind of umm, to the point where I'm so distracted by researching or doing what I need to do, that, you know, I just- overwork, pretty much. Just working a lot. And for any role that I do, I pray, you know, so uhh, cause ultimately it's not about me. I want it to be about what I can contribute to the character, first of all, and the audience.
D: What would you say is the furthest you would be willing to go for a character? What would be your extreme? AL: Umm, depending on the role, and depending on the project and the people involved- I wouldn't mind gaining a couple pounds. [And] that's huge for me, cause I like to be fit, my whole life, it's been huge for me...nothing that would do myself harm, or anybody else. I wanna keep it fun, you know what I mean? That's something I would talk to the Director and the storytellers about. Um, cause ultimately I want to be of service to the project and the people invloved. And if it's too much, then I'm like "Sorry, man, just call me for the next one."
D: Is there one thing that you'd be willing to share that people generally don't know about you, or couldn't read about you, that has nothing to do with acting or performing? Just something about Arron Lloyd, in general. AL: First thing that comes to mind, man, I'm a roller coaster kind of guy. I like roller coasters. [I've] been on the front of the Superman, and it's exhilarating, and I kinda like that kind of stuff.
D: That is true, although Atlanta does have some pretty fine prices, especially when it come to real estate. Speaking of which, you shared with me before, when we were talking, that you were getting into [real estate], as an outlet. Is it a side hustle, is it a side passion, what do you consider that? AL: I don't know if it's a passion, but I had an open house yesterday. It's just a way to eat, you know, you gotta eat. You gotta eat and it's also a way to be creative, so I'm gonna test it out...
D: Two people that you feel like you would want to collaborate with; one living and one passed. AL: One living. He's not an Actor, per se, but I have enormous respect and admiration for (Muhammed) Ali...I just admire him because, to me, he represents somebody who really decided who he was gonna be, and believed it. and decided "this is who I am, this is what I'm gonna do." [He] did it with dignity, integrity... And, um, Ossie Davis. Ossie Davis, man, cause I think he was a righteous brotha, great Actor, and uh, involved socially.
D:What would you, personally, have to say to a young or new Artist, or new Actor, or new Performer, someone who is aspiring to be where you are, to do what you do or to pursue their passion, in general? AL: I think my first piece of advice would be: absolutely be clear about what you want. If you're passionate about it, and you're an artist, you already know that's there. That's in your heart, you know? My second piece of advice would be: be outstanding in anything that you do, even outside of the Arts. Just, uhh, be outstanding, because if you're not, you're cheating yourself, and you're also cheating the work, and the audiences. Just do the best you can with what you got. Be grateful; that would be my third piece of advice. Be grateful for where you are, because there's ups and downs. That's what I have to say.