Tyler Gallant: “Networking is key”

Stunt performers are amazing so don’t be afraid to let them do their job, let go of your ego. I say this because being a former pro athlete I like to do my stunts but I’ve learned when to step back and let an expert do it. There are certain stunts that are very tough […]

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Stunt performers are amazing so don’t be afraid to let them do their job, let go of your ego. I say this because being a former pro athlete I like to do my stunts but I’ve learned when to step back and let an expert do it. There are certain stunts that are very tough and dangerous and stunt performers are specifically trained to handle them so don’t risk certain stunts, let the pros handle it.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Tyler Gallant.

Tyler Gallant is an American born actor and former pro Ice hockey player. Tyler was born in Boston, MA and is of Indigenous American/Canadian and European decent. Tyler’s first love was acting but had always been involved in various sports as well. At the age of 12, Gallant really started to excel at ice hockey and played for various select teams. Gallant played college hockey for St Norbert College and Arizona State University, where he also studied acting and Journalism. After college Gallant signed pro and played 4 years professionally. Gallant’s love for acting and film started at the age of 7, while making home movies with his friends and cousins. College presented a golden opportunity to further his education of his lifelong passion for acting and film more aggressively; he immersed himself in acting, theatre, film study and film critique classes. To date, Tyler Gallant has acted and/or been in a wide variety of media: film, TV, radio, web series, commercials, promotions, and modeling. Since being in Los Angeles, Tyler has studied for years with some of the best coaches LA has to offer. Gallant’s passion for film and past experiences in sports have molded him into a versatile, hard working, loyal, competitive and honest team player. Those qualities, along with tremendous focus and work ethic, are brought to every project Gallant is involved with.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

Thank you so much for interviewing me, I was very excited when I heard we are getting to collaborate. I grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts which is a suburb of Boston. I grew up in a very loving home with a wonderful mom, dad, brother and German Shepard named bear. I grew up trying all different things but athletics and the acting caught my attention. My parents always encouraged my brother and I to chase our dreams and that’s exactly what I did.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

When I was seven years old my family and I we’re at a family get together in Hingham, Massachusetts at my aunts and uncles house. My cousin Dennis Hurley was always interested in acting and movies so he started making home movies. Dennis started recruiting my brother and I to be in his movies when we were at family gatherings. We remade Hollywood films and we made some of our own original movies as well. I always had a very vivid imagination and getting to be these characters really heightened that. It was at that point that I realized I loved acting and film.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

One thing that really surprises a lot of people is the amount of hockey people in the entertainment industry. After retiring from professional hockey and deciding to pursue acting full-time I moved to Los Angeles and many of the entertainment industry people I met and have become friends with all came through Hockey. My two childhood passions hockey and acting have found a way to come together and coincide here in Los Angeles.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I remember my first costume in my first movie when I was 7, was a home made Halloween costume of character Templeton the rat. My character in the movie we made was a demonic killer child and I didn’t think before hand that on wide-angle shots of me walking you would see the costumes’ tail dangling and wagging from side to side. The lesson that I learned from this is be prepared with a clear vision and how important the wardrobe department is.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Right now I have a few films that are available on streaming platforms like Amazon prime or on video on demand sites. The films are: Marcel waltz‘s “Blind” and “Rootwood”, Sam Hardy’s “#followme” and Kevin VanHooks’s “Alpha Wolf”. These films are all in the vein of horror, suspense, supernatural and thriller. Two projects I just finished working on are: Marcel waltz’s “Pretty Boy” and Jerry Angelos “Obscura.” Pretty boy is the exciting sequel to Blind, you’ll find a direct continuation of the award-winning thriller Blind. Obscura is a Syfy action-thriller centered around a special forces group, an outlaw biker club and a mysterious entity all pitted together in a desert battlefield. Both of these will be out later in 2021.

I’m 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?

I believe diversity in film is very important because our society is filled with diversity and I believe it’s important to tell stories from all the different points of view. I think it’s important to learn about different people, cultures and ethnicities and their views through art. Art is also very inclusive and all people should be included in the experience. I think that by doing this it might not only open the the eyes of viewers but also unite people through the love of art and culture.

From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

In my recent film “Obscura”, I got to play my first indigenous character which was such an honor and powerful experience to me personally. Being of Indigenous American/Canadian descent and getting the opportunity to play a strong indigenous character truly meant a lot to me. In my many years of acting I’ve only read for three native characters in TV and film and this was my first I booked. Also while working on Obscura one of our cinematographers was indigenous as well, John DeWolfe. I am starting to see a lot more indigenous people working on projects within the entertainment industry in all different areas which is such a beautiful thing. The indigenous cultures are deeply rooted in the arts and there are so many talented artists within the indigenous communities that are finally getting an opportunity to show their abilities in the industry.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Stunt performers are amazing so don’t be afraid to let them do their job, let go of your ego. I say this because being a former pro athlete I like to do my stunts but I’ve learned when to step back and let an expert do it. There are certain stunts that are very tough and dangerous and stunt performers are specifically trained to handle them so don’t risk certain stunts, let the pros handle it.

Networking is key, the more I’ve been in this business the more I see that relationships are one of the most important things you can have. So many people get hired or rehired because of relationships that they have built within the industry. Be nice, respectful, learn and build relationships with other creative people in the industry and it will definitely help in the future.

Start and never stop making your own content because not only does it help you stay in a creative space but it is so key for growing your name and following. This couldn’t be more true then in today’s landscape with influencers. Each one of our phones now has the ability to shoot a movie, so why not keep creating anytime you can.

Find a good acting coach in Los Angeles, that can really help you grow as an artist. Having found my coach that I’ve had now for years in LA, Nikolai Guzov, has helped me grow so much as an artist. He opened my eyes to the Chekhov Technique which has made such a huge impact for me personally. Finding a coach and mentor it’s so important because they keep you focusing on your work and growing especially when work is slow.

Learn as many special skills as you can. There are so many roles that require special skills or abilities and learning them can really help with booking more projects. From learning dialects to fight training to horseback riding these are all things that will make you more diverse and interesting as an actor. If you can Focus on learning as much stuff as you can and fill your artists’ arsenal.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think an important one is to find your own little tribe so to speak of like-minded friends that also push you creatively. It’s good to be around other good people they are also pushing in the same direction and are focused and positive. I would say another important thing is find other hobbies to do, like for me I enjoy fitness and coaching hockey. Those two things are my escape so that I don’t feel burnt out.

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. 🙂

I’d just love to see people being kinder and more supportive of each other. I think it would be nice to spread more compliments to people on a daily basis and just spread positivity and motivation. I think that if we were better to each other I think it might make a vast improvement because a lot of times it’s the little things that count in our day to day that make a difference. We all want to succeed sometimes it’s just nice to be told that someone believes in you.

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 first and foremost thank my parents, they allowed me to follow my passions of hockey and acting and encouraged me every step of the way. My parents are my best friends, my role models and my biggest supporters. Without them I’m not sure how much of this would be possible. My dad was always with me at hockey practice, traveling for games, coaching and helping me excel any way he could. My mom supported me in doing anything that made me happy and is always my greatest cheerleader. I love them very much.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There are two quotes that have stuck with me and have had a big impact on me personally and professionally. The first one is “The man who says I can’t and the man who says I can, are both right” and “There are things you can control and there are things you can’t control, you can’t allow the things you can’t control to affect your confidence”. These two sayings I have carried with me through hockey and acting because both professions are very tough and competitive and your focus and mental toughness are key.

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. 🙂

There are four actors that have made a profound impact on me artistically from the start. It would be so interesting to talk to these four about their stories and how they came to be where they are. They are: Johnny Depp, Gary Oldman, Matthew McConaughey and Vigo Mortensen. They are all leading men that take on character roles which is what I really want to be known for as my love is in the character acting.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

It is easiest to find me on Instagram, I focus all my social media interactions on there. Currently my tag is @actor_tyler_g

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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