Hearing I am enough just as I am, would have been great to hear too. In life, we aren’t told so much that we are enough as we are. People need to hear that more often. Especially actors, we are sensitive.
As part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Breakout star Miguel Chavez who is making waves as one to watch in Peacock’s comedy series “A.P. Bio,” (now streaming its third season on NBCUniversal’s streaming service).
A.P. Bio centers around a Harvard philosophy professor, Jack Carson Griffin (Glenn Howerton) who loses out on his dream job to his rival Miles Leonard (Tom Bennett), he is forced to return to Ohio and work as advanced placement (A.P.) biology teacher at Whitlock High School. Jack makes it clear to his class that he will not be teaching any biology but later realizes that he has a room full of honor-roll students. Jack decides to use them for his own benefit and to get revenge on Miles. Eager to prove that he is still king of the castle, Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt) struggles to keep Griffin under control. Miguel plays the role of ‘Eduardo,’ a shy, introverted student who is best friends with the nerdy, Victor Kozlowski. Eduardo’s main focus is to obtain what every high school boy puts his main energy into, finding a girlfriend.
Miguel was born and raised in Southern California to a Mexican father and a half-Korean, half-Mexican mother. Miguel first discovered his love of the arts and acting at the young age of 13 and began participating in community theater, as well as school productions and playing the saxophone in a band. Continuing to grow and develop his love for the entertainment industry, he majored in filmmaking and graduated with a BA from Woodbury University in Burbank, CA. After graduation, Miguel enrolled in a stunt school, Stunts in Motion, where he trained under fight choreographer, certified stunt coordinator/performer, Jack Huang.
In his free time, Miguel is dedicated to his fitness regimen, working out 6 days a week, weightlifting and practicing Yoga. An avid reader, he enjoys books such as the high fantasy novel Lord of the Rings and Thirsty: Thirst, a self-help book. He hopes to be a role model for the Latinx and Asian community and to continue the on-going conversation of how important representation, diversity and inclusivity are in Hollywood.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share a story with us about what drew you to become and actor?
The first time I ever really felt good about myself was when an acting teacher told me at 13 years old that I did a great job during one of my community theatre rehearsals. That for sure made me want to keep on doing this.
Tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Well, I went from working as a page at Paramount Pictures to being cast on a show. That was an odd experience and one that I will always remember.
What is the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was 16, I played Francis Flute the bellows-mender in a Midsummer’s Nights Dream. During rehearsals, I didn’t know what a “stage” slap was, so I actually did slap my co-star. I learned that a stage slap is different from actually slapping an actor across the face. Everyone laughed, I was embarrassed.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Writing my own material right now and I am going to keep that on the DL 😉
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
- Diversity in film, especially giving nonwhite actors leading roles in film/tv promotes equality.
- Diversity on the screen helps disintegrate unconscious racial biases that permeate this country.
- Finally, diversity stops people from getting brainwashed into believing that being white is the ideal in both aesthetic and moral character.
Diversity does affect our culture because it opens our eyes to the full range of humanity. Diversity reminds us that we are all 3-dimensional human beings and that one is not better than the other.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- I wish someone told me not to be so cheap when getting headshots. I remember paying some friend of a friend fifty bucks for some awful headshots at a park. They really were terrible.
- Another thing I wish someone would’ve told me is to be careful who you surround yourself with. Really early in my career, I was in an acting class that was sort of like a bubble. I was just giving my money away, but nothing was happening in my career.
- Hearing I am enough just as I am, would have been great to hear too. In life, we aren’t told so much that we are enough as we are. People need to hear that more often. Especially actors, we are sensitive.
- You don’t have to try to be interesting in front of the camera. Just trust that you are. Earlier in my career sometimes, I felt like I had to do something but it always felt phony. Now, I’m cool as a cucumber and trust that the camera is picking up what I am feeling.
- I wish someone would’ve told me not to care so much for the approval of others. When I would join the cast of a play, movie, etc., I just wanted the cast and crew to like me.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would tell my colleagues to forgive themselves for burning out if that happens. It’s happened to me and I realized that booking that role won’t solve all your problems.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It would be a movement that inspires self-awareness. Does a fish know its swimming in water? Are we as humans aware of the water we are swimming in? If we were all more aware of ourselves, this world would be a better place.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have to thank my old audition coach Amy Lyndon, without her I wouldn’t have the career I have.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Be quick but not in a hurry”. That is for sure one of my mantras. Whenever I have to get something done that moves my career forward, that quote inspires me to take action without hesitation.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to grab a bite to eat with Ricky Gervais, he’s so funny. I love his sense of humor and I think it would be fun.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!