Interview with Teen Actor Lance Alexander
HI LANCE ALEXANDER! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS LANCE ALEXANDER IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
I am a 15-year-old who is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2017 I decided that I wanted to set out on the journey of becoming an actor. At that time, I was only 12 but my parents immediately started getting me training for this craft! After a short time, we decided to come to California to “test the waters.” After nearly two years of my family living apart, my parents and older sister sacrificed to make a permanent move to Los Angeles so I could pursue my dream without the pressure and added stress of going being Ohio and California. I have been very fortunate to have appeared in many different National Commercials and landing on some popular television shows, one of the biggest accomplishments for me has been playing the recurring role of Elvis on the award-winning Netflix comedy series Family Reunion, starring Loretta Devine, Richard Roundtree and Tia Mowry. When not acting, I enjoy playing volleyball, biking, chess, and kickboxing.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO BEGIN A CAREER AS AN ACTOR?
One of the key things that definitely attracted me to start my acting career is that I love putting a smile on the faces of people around me. I’ve always loved to entertain those around me and I’ll never forget the day I came home from school and I was watching tv and I said “I could see myself doing that.” I saw tv as a way to reach a larger number of people and that was it, I wanted to become an actor. What I am truly amazed and blessed by is the fact that God allowed me to identify my gifts at the age of 12. I saw something I wanted to do, identified a few ways to get there and went after it . I will be honest, at that time it looked impossible but I never took my eyes off the prize because I’ve always thought if you can see it and believe it, then you can do it!
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF PLAYING THE ROLE OF ELVIS ON THE AWARD-WINNING NETFLIX COMEDY FAMILY REUNION?
The most interesting part of playing Elvis and also the most fun is definitely that it doesn’t feel like acting because Elvis is so much like me. We have a lot of things in common, we both are big on family, we both love dancing but might not be the next Michael Jackson, and we both love bringing joy to others! We don’t need a lot of people to have fun, we bring the fun to every situation. I am eternally grateful to the casting director and the creator of Family Reunion, Meg DeLoatch, for allowing me the opportunity to play a character that resembles me so much. Playing Elvis is a true example of work feeling more like play while the cameras are rolling.
HOW HAVE YOU MANAGED TO BALANCE YOUR SCHOOLWORK, ACTING AND YOUR OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES OVER ALL THESE YEARS?
Here comes the hard part! Lucky for me I have been able to do online school so that helps a ton because I can take that on set with me or to Starbucks which has been very helpful because anyplace with WiFi I can work ! During a filming week it can be very hard to stay on top of my school work, so I try and work ahead especially when we are on hiatus. The most helpful tool my program offers is class connect sessions which are very similar to zoom and they are recorded so if I miss a class I can go back to the recording and still get the lesson! When it comes to outside activities, I always carve out time to hang out with family we love game nights and shopping. Most of my friends here are actors as well so sometimes we just visit each other on set and hang out when we can. When I’m not working, I love to catch movies and I play video games with my friends back home in Ohio as a way to stay connected.
TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHERE YOU HAD DIFFICULTY WITH A CHARACTER. WHAT WAS THE ROLE AND WHY WAS IT CHALLENGING?
When I landed my very first role it was my favorite show at the time, Disney’s Ravens Home. I remember the call from my manager like it was yesterday! We were all excited but realized it was a major role for my Hollywood debut. My mom called it a baptismal by fire. There was so much to learn and it was very challenging for me because it is a multi-camera series. I was familiar with single-cam but the challenges of staying in character and reacting when you are not the one speaking can be challenging. I would also get confused on some of the technical terms. I had to adjust myself for a new work environment and when you’re on-set it can be very fast pace and long hours but you have to stay alert and sharp! Playing my first role as Cosmo was a little intimidating because I was not brought in for the table read so when I showed up mid-week it was SHOW TIME, I had to present the character based on what I knew about the show without running the risk of misrepresenting who Cosmo really was in the scenario. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had and I am so grateful to have had that experience because I learned so much!
HOW DO YOU PREPARE IN ADVANCE FOR A ROLE?
When I receive auditions for a role, I always read over the full script if provided and I use whatever information I have about the project to research and find out more. Typically, if the project is already running, I watch a few of the episodes or clips to get the feel of the show . To memorize my lines, I read them over and over and over so that I know them like the back of my hand!
If I am auditioning for a national commercial, I find previous commercials for that company and watch them. Usually, commercial auditions don’t come with lines and they are so fun because most of the time in the audition room it’s all improv which I love!
YOU HAVE BUILT UP A GOOD FOLLOWING ON INSTAGRAM, HOW HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HELPED SHAPE YOUR CAREER AND PERSONAL BRAND?
Social Media has definitely been an amazing asset for me because I am able to actively actually grow as an actor! Instagram has always been awesome because I can post my tv show clips and commercials and reach different audiences! I decided to start using TikTok more during this COVID 19 pandemic because things got so quiet. With TikTok I started creating and posting skits which has keep me busy and allowed me to use additional skills. I have enjoyed character development, writing, editing, and acting in them as multiple characters! I have been blessed to have grown a large following on TikTok during quarantine. Reading the TikTok comments bring me so much joy especially when people tell me it made them laugh or made their day better!
WHAT TYPE OF ROLE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PLAYING IN THE FUTURE?
My first love is comedy! I definitely always plan to stay the funny guy here in Hollywood because I love to bring people joy and laughter. However, I can also see myself in some action movies I have always wanted to do something where I am a hero and saving a city! We know every child has a dream of being able to have superpowers and fly, and I am no different, lol!
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR FANS AND OUR READERS?
I would like to thank everyone for the love and support I have received on this journey. I’m just a kid with a dream and when people say positive things and encourage me it feels amazing. I am so grateful for every opportunity I have received and want to encourage others to chase their dreams! You can follow me on TikTok and Instagram @thelancealexander where I am always looking to brighten your day!